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.

READ MORE: Family’s Car Riddled With Bullets As They Drive Away From Tracy’s West Valley Mall

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.

READ MORE: California Now Limits Medical Parole To Inmates On Ventilators

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.


MORE NEWS: Sacramento Renews Interest In Zoo Relocation Sites

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.