McClish to stand trial, judge rules
By Jennifer Squires
Sentinel staff writer
A judge has ruled there is enough evidence for Ben Lomond resident Michael McClish to stand trial on charges that he sexually assaulted two women.
McClish initially was jailed in September on suspicion he raped, sodomized and threatened the life of a 29-year-old female former co-worker with whom he allegedly had an 18-month affair. In early October, the District Attorney's Office filed six additional counts of forcible rape that stem from a relationship prosecutors say McClish had with a teenage girl between 1989 and 1991.
McClish's defense attorney, Mark Garver, said he plans to challenge Superior Court Judge William Kelsay's ruling on Tuesday. The defense could file a motion asking that another judge review the transcripts from the court proceedings and reconsider Kelsay's decision, Garver said.
At issue is whether the statue of limitations applies in the six counts of forcible rape that allegedly occurred when McClish was in his early 20s and dating the teenage girl. In court, Kelsay acknowledged that the evidence for those charges was thin, but said investigators had met the burden of proof required for a preliminary hearing.
The victim of those alleged crimes, who is now 34 years old, e-mailed the Sheriff's Office after McClish was arrested this fall, sheriff's Sgt. Mario Sulay testified Tuesday. She told investigators she had never reported the alleged rapes to law enforcement officials, Sulay said.
Garver also disputes whether threats McClish allegedly made with a hatchet prior to allegedly sexually assaulting the 29-year-old contributed to the rape.