Lightweight veteran and former UFC contender Hermes Franca has plead not guilty to multiple charges of sexual abuse in Oregon, which also prompted his release by Maximum Fighting Championship, the Canadian promotion where he was set to challenge for the title next month.
According to Examiner.com, Franca turned himself in Monday on seven counts of sexual abuse and two of unlawful sexual penetration with a minor, which each carry a minimum 75 month sentence.
Franca, who taught Jiu Jitsu in Clackamas, Oregon, had his bail is set at $250,000 and his trial set to begin on July 12, which is likely to be re-scheduled.
MFC also released Franca for fighting twice without the organization’s permission, including a KO loss in his native Brazil in April, and is now searching for a new opponent to face Drew Fickett at MFC 30 on June 10.
Franca challenged Sean Sherk for the UFC lightweight title in 2007, but came up short, tested positive for steroids, and was released after dropping 2 of his next 3 fights, ending with a 2009 loss to Tyson Griffin.