Young wrestler alleges sexual assault by teammate

FRESNO, Calif.

A wrestling video posted on YouTube shows a version of the move, called a Butt Drag. In the move a wrestler grabs his opponent between the buttocks to turn him. But the father of the alleged sexual assault victim says his son suffered much more than a grab.

"This kid basically targeted my son, pinned him to the ground and assaulted him."

Ross Rice claims his 15-year-old son wasn't just grabbed, or dragged, but painfully penetrated and injured by his opponents fingers.

"They tagged it as a butt drag, and I don't think that move is a bad move, but what he did was above and beyond that." Rice said.

The alleged assailant, a 17-year-old, goes on trial on charges of sexual battery this week, and faces possible expulsion from school. His attorney, Charles Magill says the accusations and charges are absurd.

"They are sweating and grappling with one another. There is a certain amount of give and take when you are involved in that type of an intimate sport." He said, and added; "We defend it by saying the conduct he's alleged to have done is overblown and completely out of context of what happened."

No one at Buchanan High or the Clovis Unified School District will comment on the matter. Long time Fresno State University wrestling coach Dennis Deliddo says the Butt Drag is a legitimate wrestling move.

"So you grab the buttocks, one side or the other and try to steer your opponent one way or another it's just a wrestling move." But, Deliddo adds, "It is not supposed to involve penetration. That's not taught. That move isn't taught, to stick your finger there."

The victim told police the older boy made a threatening gesture to him before they wrestled.

ABC 30 Legal analyst Tony Capozzi says whether there was intent to do harm will determine whether a crime was committed. "But did he intend to do this and did he intend to harm this other boy in some fashion. If so, I think he should be prosecuted." Capozzi said.

According to the attorney for the accused, there were no witnesses to the incident even though it occurred in a room full of spectators and other wrestlers. The alleged victim told his mother about it after he got home.

The 17-year-old faces misdemeanor charges of sexual battery. His trial is set for Thursday. Within a few weeks he will face an expulsion hearing and could be kicked out of school in his senior year.

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