A Wisconsin Rapids wrestler who rejected a plea deal earlier this month now faces felony charges.
Rylan Lubeck and three other wrestlers were charged with disorderly conduct for reportedly dancing naked around their locker room. Now, Lubeck's misdemeanor charge is being replaced with a felony charge for stalking.
Lubeck, 18, originally planned to take a plea deal two weeks ago. But he decided to go to trial instead. Now he faces a more serious charge, starting the process all over.
Lubeck and three other Rapids wrestlers were charged with disorderly conduct last May. Authorities say the four danced naked around the locker room, at times touching their genitals to another wrestler.
Lubeck's attorney, Amy Boettcher, spoke to Newsline 9 about the charges. She said she didn't want to speculate about why prosecutors changed the charge.
"In my experience, it's very unusual for a DA to amend a misdemeanor charge to a felony charge," said Boettcher. "I do anticipate if it makes it through the preliminary hearing, it would proceed to a trial."
Prosecutors say they won't talk about the case until it's done. But two weeks ago, after the wrestlers' last court date, assistant district attorney Craig Lambert said he expected to work out a deal with the defense.
"Nobody was forced or threatened into anything," said Lambert following the hearing on March 2. "They all had capable attorneys. The options were laid out for those attorneys and I think the three that entered their pleas today chose wisely."
The three other wrestlers pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge earlier this month. One of them, Devin Peterson, spent the weekend of the state team wrestling tournament in jail. He'll head back to jail again during spring break.
The other two wrestlers have to complete 100 hours of community service and stay out of trouble.
Meantime, Rylan Lubeck is scheduled to be back in court in April. His lawyer says a trial date is set for May.