A date has now been set for both the final pretrial and the jury trial concerning the assault case that BJJ black belt Ralph Gracie finds himself charged with. The charge stems from an alleged incident that was caught on video back in 2018, where Ralph Gracie assaulted Flavio Almeida at the IBJJF no gi World Championships. The video emerged after initial reports of the altercation between Ralph and Almeida surfaced in which it appeared that Ralph was both the instigator and the escalator. The case will be heard by Orange County judge Cheri T. Pham after a hearing in the Orange County Superior Court that Ralph failed to attend, resulting in his defense attorney failing to enter a plea.
Dave Weber, Gracie Barra’s Head of School Development for North America, said “We went to the courthouse expecting this to be resolved,” when making a statement to Jiu Jitsu Times. Both him and the alleged victim Flavio Almeida are eager to bring an end to a two year legal battle and had hoped it could be done under more agreeable circumstances. According to Almeida, the original altercation stems from a business dispute between the two school owners that very quickly got out of hand. The length of the process is down to the charge of felony assault with intent to produce great bodily injury against Gracie and his response to said charges.
Should the assault case continue progressing and be heard in front of a jury, Ralph Gracie faces a potential maximum sentence of seven years. This comes after he reportedly rejected the original deal offered by the DA of six months in jail, three years on probation, and financial restitution of an undisclosed amount. The full statement that Jiu Jitsu Times obtained from Dave Weber is below:
“These criminal proceedings have been occurring for almost two years at this point. We went to the hearing yesterday hopeful for a resolution. Though we didn’t get that resolution, we’re pleased that an official jury trial date has been set. It seems the defense strategy is to delay, delay, delay in order to test our resolve. They should know that we will see this through to the very end when justice is served,”
The pretrial date has been set for December 8th and the jury trial will commence on February 16th, and we will report on further developments as they happen.