Judge denies felony dismissal of Highland High School wrestler

DODGEVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) – A rural high school wrestler will not be allowed to compete in the state championships this week as he is charged with criminal harassment, and on Thursday a judge dismissed the 17-year-old’s attempt to drop the allegation.

Dorota and her attorney had requested Thursday’s hearing so that, if the judge dismisses the felony charge, the teenager could compete in the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys’ State Wrestling Championships. Under WIAA rules, athletes with pending criminal charges are not allowed to compete.

Defense attorney representing Cal Dorota argued that his client’s alleged actions did not fit the crime. The attorney, Brian Severson, claimed that once Dorota was confronted with the unwanted behavior, he quit. Severson claimed the emotional distress may have been caused by others, but not by his client.

“He can’t control what other people are doing at that time, and if it’s causing other problems, it may be another type of offense that the state could try to come up with. But that does not amount to harassment,” Severson explained.

The parents of the alleged victim disagree. They accuse Dorota of bullying their son and causing him extreme emotional harm. They said he was bullied non-stop and Dorota repeatedly grabbed him in the genitals. According to the criminal complaint, they removed their son from Highland High School and transferred him to another district.

“While you were filling the gymnasium preparing for your 100th victory, I was on the phone with the suicide prevention line,” the alleged victim’s mother told the court. “Our lives have changed forever. Can you say the same? »

Iowa County Circuit Court Judge Margaret Koehler ruled there were sufficient grounds for the harassment charges to stand, saying “the complaint is sufficient to set forth a reasonable inference to achieve to probable cause that the accused engaged in the harassment”.

After denying the motion, the judge went ahead and set bail. Dorota was released on $1,000 bond and returns to court in April.

A second student from the Highlands faces similar allegations and is due in court on March 7 on the same charges.

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