WATCH: ‘The butt drag’ — legal wrestling move or form of bullying and sexual battery?

Preston Hill, 17, is charged with sexual battery.

A 17-year-old high school wrestler in Clovis, Calif., is charged with sexual battery for executing what experts say is a legal and common maneuver — “the butt drag” — in which you grab the opponent’s butt cheek and insert fingers into the anus to get leverage. The “butt drag” is also known as “checking the oil,” and you can watch some examples in the video below.

As a one-time wrestler in middle school, I can tell you that I never heard of this move, but who knows, maybe it’s something they don’t teach until high school.

Anyhow, 17-year-old Preston Hill’s parents are outraged that their son, a star wrestler who’d been named captain of his team, was expelled from school and charged with a sex crime for executing a move they say his coaches taught him. However, the parents of the unidentified 14-year-old alleged victim claim Preston’s use of the “butt drag” was a form of bullying in retaliation for an earlier encounter.

From the Fresno Bee, which has an extensive story about the controversy (with a hat tip to OutSports):

The boy’s father, Ross Rice, said Preston is a bully who targeted his 14-year-old son because he stood up to Preston in an earlier encounter. Now, Preston’s friends are teasing the boy at school, Rice said. The Bee is not naming Rice’s son because of the allegation that he is the victim of a sex crime.

“Preston took it beyond a simple wrestling move,” Rice said. “He crossed the line.”

The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office has charged Preston with sexual battery. His trial begins Thursday in Fresno County Superior Court.

The case has some scratching their heads.

Former Fresno State coach Dennis DeLiddo said the butt drag is a common move used by wrestlers all the time. “I’ve never heard this move used as being ugly or dirty,” he said.

—  John Wright

Craigslist police blotter: Bryan pastor in gay sex scandal; Azle man faces charges over fake ad

While we’re on the subject of hookup site-related crime stories in Texas, we’ve got two more to tell you about.

One involves a 51-year-old closeted church pastor from Bryan who’s accused of meeting other men online and forcing them to have sex with him.

According to KBXT.com, Pastor George Randall Scott resigned from the Bethel Temple Church, where he had served since 1990, following his arrest last Tuesday.

In one case, Scott met his alleged victim on Craiglist and posed as a 17-year-old as they exchanged 12 e-mails over two days. Many of Scott’s e-mails came from a church computer:

Eventually the victim agreed to let Randy Scott come to his house but, “When the person showed up, it was an older man. The man told him that he was the stepfather of the person the victim had been emailing. The subject said that he is protective of his stepson and has set up his stepson’s email to forward him all of the emails that they have been exchanging. The victim said that the man told him that he is going to call the Police unless the victim pleasured him sexually,” court documents stated.

KBXT reports that Scott’s former congregation is “shocked but supportive.” From Stuart Quartemont, chairman of the Bethel Temple Church’s administrative board:

“On behalf of Bethel Temple we express our love, prayers and support for the Scott family. … One of the things the Lord has been sharing with us the last couple of day is we shouldn’t keep our eyes on circumstances but keep our eyes on Him and as we continue to focus on Him, He’ll take care off all the circumstances we go through.”

Our other Craiglist case was written up in The Dallas Morning News a few days back. It involves an Azle man who faces online harassment charges after posting a fake personal ad in the “men seeking men” section of the site.

The suspect, Clark Friesen, reportedly got in a heated e-mail dispute with the victim, Michael Martin, over a boat Martin had posted for sale. So Friesen posted the fake personal ad using Scott’s e-mail address, and as The DMN cleverly puts it, Martin “soon was hearing from dozens of men who were after more than his 20-foot Bayliner.”

“As soon as I’d hang up, it would ring again,” said Martin, who is married with a teenage stepdaughter. “I know if I ever go that direction, I won’t be lonely.”

He’s right, he won’t be lonely. He might just meet a pastor from Bryan.

—  John Wright

Authorities treating HIV as deadly weapon in Central Texas case involving Grindr hookup

Christopher Everett

A 26-year-old Central Texas man is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — a first-degree felony — for having unprotected sex with a 16-year-old male without disclosing his HIV-positive status, according to News Channel 25.

The suspect, Christopher Everett, met the alleged victim on Grindr, the popular gay hookup app whose name the TV station misspells and puts in quotes (“Grinder”). The story doesn’t say whether the victim contracted HIV from the encounter, which occurred in October:

The affidavit describes how 26-year-old Christopher Everett allegedly met a 16-year-old boy on an adult social networking site called “Grinder.” The two chatted via cell phone and decided they would get together on a Friday night in October.

During an interview with police, the teenaged victim explained how Everett invited him to his home in Copperas Cove. The victim told police how he snuck out of his parent’s house and met Everett just before midnight. The two then rode together to Everett’s home in Copperas Cove.

The victim learned from another Grindr user that Everett is HIV-positive. Everett is being held on $50,000 bond.

—  John Wright

Iran’s deadly ‘Bizarro World’

The use of the Bible to defend laws in the United States could be as dangerous as the use of the Qur’an in the Iranian theocracy

EXECUTION
EXECUTION | Iranians Mahmoud Asqari and Ayad Marhouni were hanged in Justice Square in Mashhad, Iran, in 2005, after being convicted of sodomy. (Iranian Students News Agency)

In the Bizarro World, everything is well, bizarre! The planet is a cube; everything ugly is beautiful; everything is sort of the opposite of Earth.

Welcome to Iran!

In the real world, when a person is accused of a crime, evidence is presented to support the charge. Some sort of due process is used to deal out justice.

In the Bizarro World of Iran, not so much.

Take the case of Ebrahim Hamidi. He was arrested two years ago in Iran and charged with “lavat” (sodomy), a crime that is punishable by death.

Hamidi and three friends were involved in a fight with members of another family. Part of the charges leveled against them were that they had assaulted a man and attempted to abuse him sexually.

After three days of alleged torture, Hamidi confessed, and his three friends were released in exchange for their testimony against him.

It might sound like a pretty ordinary assault and attempted rape case — but for the fact that the alleged victim admitted he fabricated the charges under pressure from his family.

In the real world, that would most likely result in the charges being dropped and Hamidi being set free.

But remember, we are in the Bizarro World of Iran.

Hamidi sits awaiting execution for homosexual acts, even though he is heterosexual and from the testimony of the victim, innocent.

Why? Well, it seems there is a bizarre legal loophole that allows something called a “judge’s knowledge” to bear weight in a case where there is no supporting evidence, and the judge says, “Hang him.”

Here in the real world his defense lawyer would be throwing out every legal motion in the book to stop this miscarriage of justice. In Bizarro World the defendant has no lawyer, at least not any more.

His attorney, human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei, is no longer in Iran. He was forced to flee the country to live in permanent exile in Norway because of his human rights advocacy.

His wife was arrested and held in solitary confinement just to drive home the message. She has since been released now that Mostafaei is out of the country.

You see, in Bizarro World, lawyers like Mostafaei, credited with saving at least 50 people from execution during his career, are not welcome. He defends children and women against harsh punishments that include the medieval practices of stoning and public whipping.

Sounds strange and outlandish, but it’s true.

Iran is a country that is, in effect, a theocracy. The laws are adaptations of Shari’ah, the Islamic legal tradition that includes the Qesas law, or “eye for an eye.”

These traditions were augmented with loopholes like the one allowing judges to use circumstantial evidence and just plain intuition in deciding life or death matters.

It is not a happy place for many people — and LGBT citizens in particular. There is a lesson in this sad and strange tale, and that is the explicit warning against theocratic justice.

If you don’t see any reason to fear this kind of problem back here in the United States, you must be familiar with neither the Bible nor the make up of our highest courts. The legacy of the Bush years still haunts us and will for many years.
And that “eye for an eye” thing is a direct quote from both the Qur’an and the Bible.

Our founding fathers were some pretty sharp cookies, and when they consciously shied away from any kind of state religion, they did so because of the immense potential for abuse that they saw in theocracy.

That wisdom is under constant attack by the right wing revisionists who would have us believe we are a Christian nation. Those same voices warn against the evils of Islam and the draconian Shari’ah Law, yet if given a chance they would impose the same kind of restrictions. They would just give them a different name.

The story of Ebrahim Hamidi is a cautionary tale, and it is one we should take note of, leastwise we might slip into the “underverse” and end up in a Bizarro World of our own.

Hardy Haberman is a longtime local LGBT activist and a member of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas. His blog is at http://dungeondiary.blogspot.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 13, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas