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Monarchs head coach charged in domestic violence case, suspended from coaching duties

Real Monarchs coach Mark Briggs speaks to his team during practice at the Real Salt Lake Training Academy and Facility in Herriman on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018.
Real Monarchs coach Mark Briggs speaks to his team during practice at the Real Salt Lake Training Academy and Facility in Herriman on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018.
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

DRAPER — The head coach of the Real Monarchs was suspended from coaching duties Tuesday after reports were published that he has been charged in a domestic violence case.

Mark Johnathan Briggs, 36, of Draper, was charged last week in Draper Justice Court with two counts of assault, domestic violence in the presence of a child and attempted witness tampering, all class B misdemeanors.

The Monarchs on late Tuesday afternoon announced that Briggs has been suspended from his coaching duties effective immediately.

“Real Salt Lake will remain in close communication with local authorities and MLS / USL offices throughout this investigation. The club will not have further comment on this matter until the conclusion of our investigation, at which time additional and further disciplinary action may or may not be taken," the Monarchs announced in a prepared statement.

The incidents happened on Aug. 1 and Nov. 1, according to court records. Draper police originally screened the case in December with the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office, which declined to file charges due to concerns over evidence, said Draper Police Sgt. Chad Carpenter.

On May 23, the Draper City Prosecutor's Office filed charges. An arraignment is scheduled for June 12.

Briggs' attorney, Greg Skordas, said Tuesday that his client "unequivocally" denies the allegations. The alleged victim in the case is a woman whom Briggs shares a child with. The couple have been entangled in a custody dispute for several months.

Skordas said he will ask that the charges be dismissed. If not, he said his client will seek a jury trial as quickly as possible.

Briggs, a former professional soccer player originally from Wolverhampton, England, joined the Monarchs coaching staff in 2016. In 2017, after Mike Petke was named Real Salt Lake's coach, Briggs was promoted to head coach of the Monarchs and won Coach of the Year honors for the league.

The Monarchs are currently in first place in the United Soccer League. The team is scheduled to play a game Tuesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium. Former RSL player and current Monarchs assistant coach Jamison Olave will serve as interim head coach.