SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – A mixed martial artist and owner of several Brazilian jiu-jitsu training centers in Northern California was indicted Friday by an Orange County grand jury after he fled to Brazil following an alleged assault which occurred last year in Anaheim.
Thirty-nine-year-old Ralph Gracie of Danville, Calif., is accused of attacking a fellow MMA fighter during a tournament at the Anaheim Convention Center on Dec. 15, 2018.
According to the Orange County District Attorney's Office, Gracie assaulted Flavio Almeida, a five-time jiu-jitsu world champion, at the 2018 Jiu-Jitsu Federation World Championships while Almeida was on the sidelines of a match coaching one of his athletes.
Prosecutors say Gracie elbowed and kicked Almeida in the face, knocking out his two front teeth.
One of Gracie's own student, Lincoln Pereira, also joined in on the assault. Pereira later plead guilty to misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to 80 days in jail for time served.
Gracie, a fifth-degree black belt, fled to Brazil. A warrant was issued for his arrest in April.
On Friday, he was indicted by an Orange County grand jury on one count of felony assault with an enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury.
Gracie owns four jiu-jitsu training academies in Northern California.
"The O.C. District Attorney's Office will continue to seek justice for victims regardless of the geographical obstacles in our way," DA Todd Spitzer said in a statement.
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