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Domestic violence charges against Real Monarchs coach Mark Briggs dropped

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 players during practice at the Real Salt Lake Training Academy and Facility in Herriman on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018.
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

DRAPER — Domestic violence charges filed against the head coach of the Real Monarchs soccer team were dropped on Wednesday.

"After reviewing evidence provided by the defendant, the city does not have enough evidence to proceed at this time," prosecutors wrote in their motion to dismiss the charges against Mark Johnathan Briggs.

Briggs' attorney, Greg Skordas, said his client is frustrated the situation even got to this point.

"This case should have never been filed," he said. "This case was doomed from the start."

Now, Skordas said his client hopes to resume his duties with the Monarchs as soon as possible.

Briggs, 36, of Draper, was charged May 23 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 charges resulted in Briggs being suspended from his head coaching duties.

Briggs was accused of being involved in two domestic violence incidents, one on Aug. 1, 2017, and one on Nov. 1, 2017. The Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office originally screened the case in December but declined to file charges due to concerns over evidence.

The alleged victim in the case is a woman with whom Briggs shares a child. The couple has been entangled in a custody dispute for several months.

Skordas said that, due to the way the system is set up, it wasn't until Tuesday that he sat down with the prosecutor in the case to go over evidence for their final pretrial conference. When Briggs showed prosecutors a series of email exchanges between himself and the woman, in which the woman appears to contradict what she told police, Skordas said prosecutors knew they didn't have the evidence to go forward.

As far as the legal system goes, Skordas said the case moved through the court system as fast as it could have. But it was still frustrating for Briggs to be suspended from his job since May, he said.

"It's just a tragedy," Skordas said. "The man went through hell because of misrepresentations."

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.