Former Fresno City College instructor Brian Calhoun is ready to stand trial on Sept. 25 on a misdemeanor battery charge in connection with his fight with a female student, his lawyer said Thursday.
Fresno attorney Roger Nuttall, who is defending Calhoun, informed Judge James Oppliger in Fresno County Superior Court that the trial will take five to seven days.
Calhoun, a former Fresno City Council member, waived his right to be at Wednesday's hearing, but Oppliger informed Nuttall that Calhoun must be present for his trial.
The battery charge stems from a March 22 altercation that Calhoun had with 19-year-old student Kevynn Gomez near the end of her Chicano-Latino Studies class. The class had a substitute instructor who was late in handing out an exam, and Calhoun was unhappy because he was teaching a class in the room the next hour and it was still occupied, according to a police report of the incident.
There is disagreement on what happened next, though both sides agree Gomez called Calhoun an "a--hole." Nuttall says she used more curse words and Calhoun ended up with broken glasses and a tooth knocked out.
In the police report, Gomez admitted to cursing at Calhoun and then punching him in the face, but said that was because he had grabbed her left arm and used his forearm to pin her neck against a wall.
He then allegedly lifted Gomez and slammed her onto the floor before other students pulled him away.
On April 1, Calhoun, 69, was put on paid administrative leave, and the State Center board fired him a little more than a month later.
At FCC, Calhoun taught education classes. He had worked there since 1988.
Before the new semester began, Calhoun said in an email to colleagues that it took Fresno City College and the State Center Community College District "only 47 days to fire me, probably a record for a tenured instructor."
That places Calhoun's termination on May 8, which came the day after a regularly scheduled State Center trustees meeting that included a closed-session agenda item on disciplining an employee.
Nuttall, who defended Calhoun before State Center trustees in the May closed session, said Thursday that Calhoun is ready to clear his name.
Nuttall also said the trial will take about a week because a jury has to be picked and the prosecution will likely call several witnesses who saw the altercation.
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