Nicole Bobek Ex Ice Skating Champ Arrested in Meth Ring

July 6, 2009 – Nicole Bobek, the 31 year old former ice skating champion, made her first court appearance Monday by video from the Hudson County Jail. Bobek, who has homes in New York and Jupiter, Fla., was arrested in Florida last week. She is charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in Hudson County. She was arraigned in Jersey City, NJ, on drug charges stemming from a case in New York. Bobek faces up to 10 years in prison if she is convicted.

Attorney Sam DeLuca entered a not guilty plea for Bobek. She was held on $200,000 bail and faces up to 10 years in prison if she’s convicted.

Prosecutor Edward DeFazio says so far 20 people have been arrested in connection with the ring.

“She played a significant role in this operation,” said Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio of the probe that took down a methamphetamine ring and resulted in more than a dozen arrests, including Bobek’s. “She was actively involved in the upper echelon of this ring.”

Bobek is famous for winning the women’s U.S. figure skating title in 1995.

Watch Nicole Bobek 1995 National Championships Video

Nicloe Bobek’s Skating Career

Bobek’s fondness for skating started at age three. She first came to national prominence by placing 2nd at the novice level of the U.S. Championships in 1989; Nicole was eleven years old. In the next few seasons, she worked her way up the competitive rankings at the national level. She was known as an athletic jumper and a charismatic performer, but an erratic competitor. For example, Nicole placed 4th at the 1992 World Junior Championships, but the next year dropped to 16th at the same event. She made her first appearance at the senior World Championships in 1994, as an alternate (after both Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding dropped out of the event), but failed to advance out of the qualifying round.

The following 1995 season brought Bobek her greatest competitive success; she won the U.S. title and placed 3rd at the World Championships. In late 1995, Nicole toured with an ice show production of The Nutcracker, rather than rehabilitate an ankle injury or train for the upcoming 1996 U.S. Championships. Said injury forced her out of the championships, and off the World team for that season. In both 1997 and 1998, she placed 3rd at the U.S. Championships. But at the 1998 Winter Olympics Bobek finished in a disappointing 17th-place. She withdrew from the subsequent World Championships due to another injury.

Nicole Bobek Had Other Legal Battles

In November 1994, Bobek was charged with first degree home invasion after using an access code to enter a friend’s garage and home. She allegedly took cash from a purse, only to be foiled when the house owner arrived (at which point she returned the money). She claimed to have been given permission to enter the house and retrieve the cash by another member of the household. Bobek was 17 years old at the time; under Michigan law, anyone 17 or older may be subject to adult criminal laws and is no longer considered a minor for legal purposes.

She pled guilty under Michigan’s Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which directs defendants between 17 and 20 years of age to probation and counseling. If they complete their probation, they are excused from a more permanent charge and given a “clean” record, with all records of the prior charge sealed from the public.

On January 19, 1995, Bobek was given “youthful trainee” status, along with two years’ probation and a choice between fifty hours of community service and thirty days in jail. Information regarding her case was soon leaked by the media and spread widely through skating circles, as well as in the news media at large. Under the Youthful Trainee Act, cases are to remain confidential; so on February 16, she filed for dismissal of her case (though journalists and legal scholars have argued that Michigan law allows journalists to release information about juvenile criminals if there is “compelling public interest,” which could be argued due to her status as a figure skater in world class competition). She was given a closed (private) hearing, where the trial court granted her motion for probation discharge.

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