The day after domestic violence charges filed against the head coach of Real Monarchs, Real Salt Lake’s USL affiliate, had been dismissed by the prosecutor citing a lack of evidence, Mark Briggs has resigned from the soccer club.
Briggs was originally charged with multiple misdemeanors counts of domestic violence and reportedly trying to persuade his accuser, Marissa Hankins, to stop discussing the allegations with police and prosecutors. In Draper County Justice Court on Wednesday, a day after meeting with defense attorney Greg Skordas, prosecutors dismissed all charges in the case.
According to a statement from RSL, Briggs resigned Thursday. Briggs, the 2017 USL Coach of the Year, was suspended from coaching duties until the club completed its internal investigation in the abuse allegations.
In a statement about Briggs' resignation, the club said, “We thank him for his service to our Club and wish him well," adding it wouldn’t comment further. Assistant coach Jamison Olave, who has served as the Monarchs interim head coach since Briggs' suspension, will remain interim head coach through the rest of the season.
Skordas told The Tribune that Briggs was given an ultimatum about his job: resign or be fired. Briggs chose the former because “he had no choice.”
Skordas said he believes the club opted to get rid of Briggs because of negative reaction to media reports, including The Tribune’s. It is unclear if RSL has completed their internal investigation.
City prosecutor David Lassetter said Wednesday in his motion to dismiss that “after reviewing evidence provided by the defendant, the City does not have enough evidence to proceed at this time.”
Briggs initially faced two counts of domestic assault, domestic violence in the presence of a child and witness tampering, court records showed earlier this summer. All are class B misdemeanors. The allegations stem from two alleged disputes between Briggs and his ex-partner in August and November of 2017.
The case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning it can still be re-filed. Lassetter directed requests for comment to the city spokeswoman, who hasn’t yet responded. Hankins told The Tribune that based on conversations with Lassetter, she doesn’t believe the case is resolved.
“It’s over. It’s done,” Skordas said.
Skordas said he appreciated the “hard work and honesty” of the prosecutor in dismissing the case. However, he said, Briggs' career and reputation were jeopardized by the charges.
“Especially in this day and age, the person who is even accused of this type of thing, people assume the worst, even if the allegations are untrue, which is what happened here,” Skordas said.
Hankins said she stands by her allegations, despite the dismissal.
“Just because they don’t have enough evidence doesn’t prove that ... those things didn’t happen. It doesn’t make him innocent," she said. “It did happen. I know that. He knows that.”