The prosecution wrapped up its case Tuesday against former Fresno City College professor Brian Calhoun, who is accused grabbing a female student, pinning her against a wall and body-slamming her after she cursed him.
Now it's Calhoun's turn to tell his side about his altercation with 20-year-old student Kevynn Gomez. He will testify Wednesday in Fresno County Superior Court.
Calhoun, 69, faces a single charge of misdemeanor battery. If convicted, he faces up to six months in jail and/or a fine.
Testimony, so far, has revealed that on March 22 Calhoun yelled at professor Michael Medrano who was late in handling out a midterm exam in his Chicano-Latino Studies class. Calhoun told Medrano that his students had to leave the classroom because it was Calhoun's turn to use the classroom.
Gomez testified last week that she cursed Calhoun for yelling at Medrano and disrupting her and other students taking the midterm. She said Calhoun pursued her outside the classroom, grabbed her arm, and pinned her against a wall.
Calhoun then lifted her off the ground and body slammed her after she punched him in the face three times, Gomez testified.
Tuesday, FCC students Rocio Hernandez and Kamee Wiggins corroborated Gomez's testimony. In all, nine students, including Gomez, testified for the prosecution.
Once prosecutor Michael Brummel announced he had wrapped up his case, Calhoun's lawyer, Roger Nuttall, asked Judge Denise Whitehead to acquit Calhoun.
Nuttall argued that Calhoun had a duty to pursue Gomez and report her for cursing him. He said Gomez not only violated FCC's code of student conduct, but also violated the California Penal Code by disturbing the peace and by committing elder abuse.
Nuttall conceded Calhoun grabbed Gomez's arm, "not with the intent to hurt or injure the young woman, but to effect discipline."
Whitehead, however, declined to acquit Calhoun. The judge said the evidence, so far, showed that Calhoun was angry because Medrano's class was running late.
"He had no right to put his hands on Gomez," Whitehead said. The law, she said, allows Gomez "to defend herself against the attack by Calhoun."
Calhoun was elected twice to the Fresno City Council before he termed out in January 2009. In 2008, he made an unsuccessful bid to become a Fresno County supervisor.
At Fresno City College, Calhoun taught education classes to help students become future teachers. He had worked there since 1988 before the State Center Community College District board fired him about seven weeks after his arrest in connection with his altercation with Gomez inside the Old Administration Building.
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