A 17-year-old California boy is being charged with sexual battery after performing a controversial wrestling move on a teammate during practice.
Preston Hill, age 17 of Fresno, drew the charges after performing the “butt drag,” a submission move where a wrestler places his finger between his opponent’s buttocks and tries to turn him.
But Ross Rice, father of the alleged victim, said Hill took the move to the extreme.
“This kid basically targeted my son, pinned him to the ground and assaulted him,” he told KABC. He said his 15-year-old son was painfully penetrated for at least 30 seconds by his teammate’s fingers during a wrestling drill last year.
Hill, however, says it is a legal move that he was taught by his coaches.
“They’re sweating and grappling with one another,” said Charles Magill, Hill’s attorney. “There is a certain amount of give and take that’s involved when you’re in that type of an intimate sport. We defended by saying that the conduct that he’s alleged to have done is overblown and completely out of context with what happened.”
Encino’s Crespi Carmelite High School wrestling coach Mike Odman says the butt drag is a legal move, but he would never teach his students to penetrate an opponent with their fingers.
“There’s nothing in wrestling tactics that would say when in doubt, insert,” Odman said. “That never comes into play.”
The case may eventually come down to if Hill premeditated the move and intended to harm the alleged victim. Ross says Hill made a threatening gesture before the two wrestled, but Hill denies that. A doctor’s report does say that the alleged victim was slightly injured as a result.
It’s unclear what will happen to Hill if convicted. He is, however, currently suspended and facing expulsion. The trial was originally scheduled for this week but has been delayed until January so the prosecution can investigate the incident further.
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