There has been some strong support for Cain Velasquez within the MMA community following his recent arrest. For those looking to offer the former UFC heavyweight champion financial backing, however, at least two fundraisers for his legal defense have now been shut down.
A pair of GoFundMe links shared by Velasquez’s longtime coach Javier Mendez on social media have recently been removed, with the company citing the posts as violations of their terms of service. For the moment, it appears there are still crowdfunding efforts on other sites, however, GoFundMe won’t be one of them.
“We can confirm that both fundraisers were removed, and all donors have been refunded,” a GoFundMe spokesperson told MMA Junkie. “GoFundMe prohibits raising money for the legal defense of a violent crime.”
The popular website’s terms and conditions specifically note that their platform cannot be used for causes involving: “the legal defense of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, serious disabilities or diseases, financial crimes or crimes of deception...”
The same policy has been also previously cited in several other high profile cases, including the removal of a legal defense fund for Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse.
Velasquez was arrested on February 28 and is facing 10 charges, including attempted murder. The former UFC and WWE talent was apparently targeting Harry Eugene Goularte in what was described as an “11-mile, high-speed chase,” where Velasquez allegedly rammed and fired multiple shots at a vehicle carrying Goularte, striking the man’s 63-year-old stepfather in the process—resulting in non-life-threatening injuries. Goularte reportedly escaped the incident unscathed.
Goularte was out on ‘supervised release’ at the time of the shooting, having recently been arrested on one felony count of a lewd and lascivious act with a child, at a daycare facility owned by his mother. He has been accused of repeatedly molesting a Velasquez family member.
As of writing, Velasquez remains in detention at the Santa Clara County Jail, having been denied bail on Monday, March 7th. The judge overseeing his case cited “a substantial likelihood that release would result in great bodily injury, not just to the named complaining witnesses in this case but to Santa Clara residents at large.” Velasquez is next set to appear in court on April 12th.