New details were revealed Friday about the arrest of Christopher Washington, the student body president at Fresno City College. A 17-year-old female student also has been arrested in connection with Washington’s criminal case.
Washington was arrested Oct. 16 after Fresno City College police caught him with two drunken underaged female students inside a campus women’s restroom.
Washington, 25, has pleaded not guilty in Fresno Superior Court to a felony charge of having oral copulation with a minor under the influence of an anesthesia or controlled substance. He also has pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor charges of providing an alcoholic beverage to a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The victim is identified in court papers as Jane Doe.
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On Friday, a lawyer for the other girl in the restroom with Washington and Jane Doe identified his client as a first-year FCC student who was arrested Oct. 22 and taken to Juvenile Hall on a charge of oral copulation of an unconscious person.
The teen was released from Juvenile Hall on Friday after a judge determined she was not a threat to society, said Fresno attorney Michael McKneely.
“She’s innocent and a victim, too,” McKneely said.
McKneely said he and his investigator, Shannon Ayello — a former police lieutenant for State Center Community College District, which governs Fresno City College — have read police reports and interviewed Jane Doe.
McKneely said the police investigation has revealed that Washington was drinking with Jane Doe on campus on Oct. 15 before they came in contact with the 17-year-old on campus. “She’s a new student and didn’t even know Washington,” McKneely said of his client. The girl decided to join Washington and Jane Doe because he allegedly offered her alcohol, McKneely said.
But over time, the two female students got suspicious of Washington, McKneely said. “He was getting sexually aggressive,” the lawyer said. So the two teens ran into a women’s restroom to hide. But Washington followed them into the restroom and cornered them in a stall, McKneely said.
Because the restroom was open, students came in. Once they learned what was going on, they called police, McKneely said.
According to an incident report sent to State Center Community College District officials, Washington and the two students were intoxicated — one so badly that officers called EMS to provide her medical care and transportation to the hospital.
McKneely said the police reports say campus police took Jane Doe to the hospital. He said police took his client to her grandmother’s home, where she lives.
Once the grandmother found out what had happened, she got upset. The girl then got so distraught that she was taken to the hospital for a psychiatric examination, McKneely said. She remained in the hospital for several days until her father took her home.
But on Oct. 22, the girl was arrested by Fresno City College police, over the objections of her father, who told officers that his daughter was a victim and had just gotten out of the hospital, McKneely said. “The police disregard the father’s plea for help,” McKneely said. “Instead they took her to Juvenile Hall.”
McKneely said the felony charge the girl faces is farfetched because she was extremely intoxicated and doesn’t know what happened. Now that she has been released from Juvenile Hall, McKneely is “cautiously optimistic” that he and prosecutors can come to a resolution that will help the girl get back on track. “By all accounts she is a model student before this happened,” he said.
Fresno City College spokeswoman Kathy Bonilla confirmed that campus police arrested a 17-year-old female in connection with Washington’s case. But she couldn’t comment on McKneely’s accusations or the case because of laws that protect juveniles.
Washington remains in Fresno County Jail in lieu of $42,400 bail. His next court hearing is Nov. 8. If convicted of the felony charge, he faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison and would have to register as a sex offender, prosecutors say.