SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CBS13/AP) – A man charged with hitting Sacramento, California, Mayor Kevin Johnson in the face with a coconut cream pie has been ordered to stand trial on a charge of assaulting a public official.

A Sacramento County Superior Court judge on Thursday also denied Sean Thompson’s motion to have his felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor.

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He also faces a misdemeanor charge of battery on school property when his trial begins Jan. 7.

Attorney Claire White says she’s disappointed her 32-year-old client faces a felony for what she says was “very clearly an act of political speech.”

White says Thompson will use the trial as a forum to discuss Sacramento’s lack of progress in helping homeless residents.

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Thompson says he welcomes a jury trial, if it means getting Johnson on the stand.

He’s charged with pushing the pie in Johnson’s face in September. Johnson then punched Thompson.

 

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