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Fired FCC prof loses court battles, may have to testify

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

An argument lost in court Wednesday means a former Fresno city council member will stand trial for an alleged attack on a Fresno City College student.

Brian Calhoun, 69, faces a misdemeanor battery charge for a March scuffle with a 19-year-old student inside a classroom.

Calhoun's attorney claimed Calhoun was the true victim, and Kevynn Gomez is guilty of elder abuse. He says Calhoun was just doing what he had to do to bring Gomez to justice for cursing at him. But the judge refused to dismiss the case and her decisions mean Calhoun will probably have to testify.

Brian Calhoun remained stoic as his defense case took a couple blows Wednesday. The former city council member is accused of simple battery, but the case could get complicated.

Several witnesses in the old administration building at Fresno City College say Calhoun grabbed Kevynn Gomez, threw her against a wall, choked her, then threw her onto the ground. He had to be pulled off and restrained by other students. But his attorney says Gomez was the instigator.

"His contact with this young woman was not done out of rudeness on his part," said defense attorney Roger Nuttall. "She was the one that was rude."

Nuttall lost his attempt to have the judge accept his interpretation of FCC's student code of conduct. He says Gomez violated it by yelling curses at Calhoun, so the professor had a duty to report her to administrators.

ABC30 legal analyst Tony Capozzi says the judge's ruling means Calhoun will now have to testify.

"What that does is it will force the defendant to take the stand to explain why he did what he did," Capozzi said.

Gomez was not in Calhoun's class. She was in the class before his. And since Calhoun didn't know her, his attorney says he was forced to try and detain her to get her name. But while exactly how much force he used is in dispute, the judge said cursing does not justify the use of violence.

"Words alone, no matter how offensive or exasperating, are not an excuse for this crime - which is simple battery," said Judge Denise Whitehead.

The punishment for a simple battery conviction is no more than six months in jail and three years on probation.

Calhoun's career has already taken a hit. He's told friends FCC fired him, so he lost a six-figure salary.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
crimetracker, lawsuit, fresno city college, fresno, fresno county, local, corin hoggard
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