ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Criminal charges against the state-champion wrestler accused of shaking down a classmate for money could soon be dismissed provided Rio Grande High School senior Nick Chavez stays out of trouble.
Chavez was suspended from school in February after he allegedly took $15 from a smaller, younger member of the wrestling team and then slapped the student across the face. A Bernalillo County sheriff's deputy assigned to RGHS reported witnessing the incident.
Chavez was charged with larceny and battery.
The case garnered a lot of press after politicians stepped in on Chavez's behalf to ensure he could wrestle in the state tournament the next day. In an emergency hearing a judge overruled the suspension imposed by the Albuquerque Public Schools district.
On Thursday, Chavez stood in court as a representative read a letter from the alleged victim, who couldn't be in court because he was taking a test.
In his letter the student dismissed the term 'horseplay' for the February incident. He writes that he believes Chavez received preferential treatment, and that "the politicians proved-- once again--that the rules we're all told to follow only apply to some people."
Michael Hart, an attorney and friend of the victim's family, said the victim wanted to share the lessons he learned in the days and weeks following the lunchroom incident.
"He and Nick were friends in the past," Hart said. "They are teammates, they're Ravens, they're both very proud of their school, and he wants the best for Nick and himself.
"He is pretty unhappy with the way things were expressed and how some of the facts were twisted."
All parties in the case including the victim agreed to a 90-day continuance in the case, which Metropolitan Court Judge Daniel Ramczyk approved. If Chavez stays out of trouble in that time period, the case against him will be dismissed.
As the case is ongoing, Chavez did not speak to the media.
Some brazen thieves made off with a man's prized possession, and now the victim is hoping for some holiday justice. Little did the suspects' know, their entire crime was caught on camera.
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