Expulsion recommended for Clovis wrestler in "butt drag" case

FRESNO, Calif.

Preston Hill is the student accused of performing a wrestling move called the "Butt Drag" that the victim called sexual assault. Hill is currently on suspension and now a ruling Thursday could lead to his expulsion in just a matter of days.

Preston Hill hugged some of his family and friends Thursday night. The 17-year-old left the hearing before the verdict came down.

After 10 hours of testimony and more than hour of deliberations a Clovis district panel recommended that hill be expelled from school.

"That lipstick on a pig is a pig. They made up their mind before they started. They just wanted to make it look prettier by putting lipstick on it. That's all they're doing now." said Charles Magill.

Charles Magill is Hill's attorney. He defends that his client did not go too far in performing a wrestling move called the Butt Drag.

A video posted on YOUTUBE shows a version of the move -- where one wrestler grabs his opponent between the buttocks to turn him.

On Thursday the panel determined that Hill did go to far by sexually assaulting the victim at a practice last summer. They also found him in violation of school policy for bullying.

"You know it's a long day. But victory for us and we're very happy." said Ross Rice.

Ross Rice is the alleged victim's father and says the recommendation is a huge relief for him and his son.

"For 15 years old he's got more pressure than most 15 year olds should have or have. But I think after this you know he's basically been vindicated." added Ross.

ABC30 legal analyst Tony Capozzi says this victory for Rice at the school level doesn't necessarily mean it'll translate in a court of law.

"If you were taking on a scale like this, all the school had to do was tilt the scale just a little bit to show that the evidence was more probable than not. But then when you get to the criminal case, you go back to the scale. The DA, the people have to tip the scale all the way up to the top. Because it's beyond a reasonable doubt." said Capozzi.

The Clovis school board will now have 10 days to take the panel's recommendation and make a final decision on whether or not Hill gets expelled from school. If approved, Hill will also have the chance to appeal the decision. There is also a separate criminal case still pending.

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