Trial delayed in Buchanan wrestler's case

December 8, 2010 

10:40 a.m.: The sexual-battery trial of a Buchanan High School wrestler has been delayed, according to one of the attorneys.

Attorney Stephen Quade, who represents Preston Hill, said the trial has been delayed to Jan. 13.

Judge David Gottlieb has imposed a gag order.


9:55 a.m.: Both sides have returned to the courtroom. According to attorney Charles Magill, who represents Preston Hill, the case is not resolved.


9:25 a.m. The hearing at the Juvenile Justice Campus has ended.

Attorneys for both sides are conferring with their clients.


Prosecutors will ask a judge today to delay the sexual-battery trial of a Buchanan High School wrestler so they can further investigate the case.

If the judge denies the request, then prosecutors will dismiss the sexual-battery charge and refile it once the case is ready to go to trial, said a source with knowledge of District Attorney Elizabeth Egan's strategy.

Clovis police and the alleged victim said Preston Hill, 17, rammed two fingers into a teammate's anus during wrestling practice in July. Preston's attorney, Stephen Quade, says his client used a legitimate wrestling move called the "butt drag."

In general, the butt drag requires a wrestler to grab a rival's butt cheek to get leverage. Local coaches say anal penetration can occur accidentally, but should never be done on purpose.

Quade said Wednesday evening that he will object to any delay because he has seven witnesses, including two of Preston's wrestling coaches, who will be in Fresno County Superior Court today to testify on Preston's behalf.

Earlier this week, Egan said she wanted the charge dismissed against Preston. She apparently changed her mind after deputy district attorney Elana Smith found a witness who will corroborate the victim's account that Preston had allegedly threatened him, the source said.

Egan has declined to comment.

Preston, a senior, has been suspended from Buchanan High pending an expulsion hearing.

The reporter can be reached at plopez@fresnobee.com or (559) 441-6434.

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