A former Sunnyside High School varsity softball coach will go to trial on felony sex-crime allegations after he waived his preliminary hearing on the charges Wednesday.
Christopher Ybarra — who also goes by Chris Freitas — was arrested in November on seven felony sex crime allegations related to his involvement with a female Sunnyside High student who was younger than 16. Ybarra was charged with four counts of digital penetration with a foreign object, two counts of oral copulation with a victim younger than 16 and one count of committing a lewd act with a child younger than 16 and the suspect being at least 10 years older.
If Wednesday’s planned preliminary hearing would have gone forward, Fresno County Superior Court Judge Jonathan Skiles would have ruled if there was enough evidence to move the case to a trial. Margarita Martinez Baly, Ybarra’s attorney, said that was a forgone conclusion.
“If the judge were to read the reports, there is enough evidence for the case to go forward to trial,” she said. “That doesn’t mean that my client is guilty; it just means that there is enough evidence. It’s a pretty low standard.”
Martinez Baly also said she is hopeful some sort of plea agreement can be reached before the case reaches trial. None has been offered so far.
“We’re hopeful at some point that we’ll be able to come to some sort of agreement that’s beneficial to all parties,” she said.
Fresno police earlier said Ybarra — who is free while the case works its way through the courts — admitted to committing the acts.
Police said that beginning in August 2013, Ybarra began an “inappropriate relationship” with the victim, which led to “more than kissing and groping.” After their relationship ended in July, the girl told others about what had occurred. That led to police being notified Nov. 11 and Ybarra’s arrest later that day at his Fresno home.