Updated at 3:40 p.m. to clarify some details.

SAN BERNARDINO • Nearly two years after Barstow Mayor Joe Gomez was charged with touching a woman inappropriately, his defense attorney said that the incident was consensual at a hearing Friday morning in San Bernardino.

Gomez has been charged with misdemeanor sexual battery after he allegedly touched a woman intimately on Dec. 18, 2009 "for the specific purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification and sexual abuse."

There have been several pre-trial motions since charges were filed against him, but Gomez's defense had not made a statement in court about the victim's claims until Friday.

John Dorr, Gomez's attorney, requested the victim's counselor's medical records of the alleged victim on Friday in the hopes that the documents would help prove that the incident was consensual.

Dorr said that Gomez and the victim knew each other very well and that Gomez, his significant other, the victim and her husband would often hang out together.

Dorr also mentioned a specific incident that happened the day before the battery, where Gomez and the victim went out for drinks together. On Dec. 27, 2009 — less than 10 days after the battery —the victim was joking about the night of the incident with a friend, according to Dorr.

After the hearing, Dorr said he was looking for statements made by the victim that were inconsistent with what she told police. He reiterated his point that the touching between Gomez and the victim was consensual.

Judge Duke Rouse denied the motion requesting the counselor's medical records on Friday and also denied another motion requesting confidential police files for the victim's husband — who works for the Barstow Police Department. If the motion had passed, Dorr would have been able to examine personnel files for any previous instances of planting information or using excessive force.

Gomez's next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 20, 2012. Deputy District Attorney Steven Sinfield said he had a trial in Victorville that is expected to last four months.

After the hearing, Sinfield and Dorr both estimated that the trial wouldn't begin until early summer.

If convicted, Gomez could face a fine of up to $2,000 and a six-month jail sentence. He would also have to register as a sex offender.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4122 or kjonas@desertdispatch.com