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At the request of the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office, a judge dismissed all charges against a Christian rapper on Feb. 8.
Prosecutors asked Hidalgo County Court at Law #2 Judge Jaime J. Palacios to dismiss two misdemeanor charges against Nerva Charles Jr., 29, of Mission, a self-styled “Christian rapper, songwriter, producer, student and entrepreneur.”
“We contacted both victims,” said Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez. “Our notes show they were contacted, they were told about the bench trial. And from the outset, they didn’t want to participate. They didn’t want to show up.”
The women apparently moved away and didn’t want to return to Hidalgo County for trial, Rodriguez said, adding that prosecutors couldn’t proceed without them.
Prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss on Feb. 7. The judge granted the motion the following day.
“It was all off of false allegations,” Charles said, adding that he never exposed himself. “So I basically got arrested for something I didn’t do.”
Police arrested Charles after 2 a.m. on Jan. 6, 2018, when two women waived officers down near the intersection of South 17th Street and Beaumont Avenue.
Downtown bars had closed, Friday night had become Saturday morning and drunken patrons had started stumbling home.
The women said Charles approached them on the 1600 block of Beaumont Avenue.
“They then stated that Nerva asked them if they were both willing to have sex with him,” according to court records. “At which point they tried to walk around him.”
When they attempted to walk away, Charles exposed himself and made lewd comments, according to court records. The women waived down passing officers.
Police responded at about 2:23 a.m. Based on a description provided by the women — a “thin black male” wearing a long-sleeve maroon shirt — officers detained Charles.
When police approached him, Charles said they asked about drugs. He knew they would arrest him.
“I already understood it was racial profiling,” Charles said.
Both women, however, identified Charles as the man who exposed himself.
Officers booked Charles at the McAllen Police Department on two counts of indecent exposure, a Class B misdemeanor.
Conviction on a Class B misdemeanor charge is punishable by a maximum of 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. Under certain circumstances, people convicted of indecent exposure may be required to register as sex offenders.
The charges also posed a threat to Charles’ ministry through music.
“As a Christian rapper, husband, father, and student in South Texas, Nerva Charles Jr. is given the opportunity to hear and see what young people deal with on a daily basis,” according to Charles’ Facebook page. “He is then able to speak musically to that generation in a way that they can incorporate God’s Word into their own lives.”
Charles fought the charges. The court scheduled a bench trial for Feb. 8 but dismissed the case when the women refused to testify.
“So after a year gone by, there’s still no evidence,” Charles said, adding later: “I’m just happy that today the case was dismissed. Because it wasn’t me.”