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Calhoun maintains innocence following batter sentence

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Longtime Fresno City College professor and former city councilman Brian Calhoun is angry following his sentence for misdemeanor battery charges.

He was sentenced Friday to 90 days in jail for attacking a student who cursed at him. He told Action News he regrets the incident ever happened. He spoke Friday with ABC 30 for the first time since his charge in March. He said everything that's unfolded in the courtroom since then has ruined his life.

"Five minutes, five minutes changed my life," Calhoun said.

The 69-year-old was sentenced Friday to time in jail, with the option to instead serve in an adult offender program. He's also been ordered to stay off college campuses, three years of misdemeanor probation and a series of fines.

"This has been terrible. It's ruined my life," he said. "It's taken my job away from me. I'm $66,000 and counting in legal fees, I have a second mortgage on this house."

Calhoun says Fresno Superior Court Judge Denise Whitehead unfairly threw the book at him. In court, she came down on Calhoun for showing no remorse over the incident. She says when he attacked a student he violated the trust instilled in him as an educator.

"By his actions he violated this trust and set a horrible example of how to respond in frustrating situations," Whitehead said. "He injured not only the victim but all of the students who were present and witnessed his behavior."

Many of those students testified against Calhoun during the trial, reporting to witness what the original police report details as Calhoun restraining and slamming a female student to the ground after she cursed at him. Calhoun said he only took her down after she punched him.

"I still think I'm innocent," he said. "But, I said I regret the entire thing. It's too bad. It doesn't reflect well on me. It doesn't reflect well on Kevynn Gomez, which was never, ever, disciplined for anything."

Rather than serve in the adult offender program, Calhoun may just end up turning himself in to the jail on the chance he'll be released early.

"And I'm leaving Fresno," Calhoun added. "My wife and I do not want to stay here any longer."

Calhoun is pushing for an appeal on his conviction. He's also now facing a civil suit, he says is being brought on by Kevynn Gomez. She did not return phone calls for comment.

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

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crimetracker, local, rick montanez
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