Opening arguments are set for 9:45 a.m. on Monday, June 29, for the trial of Atherton public works supervisor Troy Henderson. Mr. Henderson, a 33-year employee of the town, is facing misdemeanor assault and battery charges for allegedly attacking an Atherton police officer.
In a June 3, 2008, incident caught on videotape, Officer Pilar Ortiz-Buckley was sitting in the police station staff room when she was threatened by public works supervisor Troy Henderson, who then lunged at her, according to Steve Wagstaffe, the chief deputy district attorney of San Mateo County.
Mr. Henderson, 58, is also named in a civil lawsuit that Officer Ortiz-Buckley filed against the town, alleging ongoing sexual harassment by Mr. Henderson. In her April 22 complaint, Officer Ortiz-Buckley said that once she reported the incident, she faced retaliation and disability discrimination related to the injury she suffered in the incident.
Through his attorney, Mr. Henderson has said that he is innocent.
Prosecutors sought to include evidence about Mr. Henderson's alleged harassment of other female town employees, but Judge Craig Parsons denied it, although he didn't rule out the possibility that it could be brought up later in the trial, depending on Mr. Henderson's defense testimony.
Judge Parsons did grant a motion to exclude any evidence concerning the defendant's medical condition -- the defense claims Mr. Henderson is impotent and has no sex drive due to medical treatment for prostate cancer, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
The trial began with jury selection and pre-trial motions on Thursday, June 25, in San Mateo County Superior Court and is in recess until Monday. It had been set to begin on June 22, but it was postponed because a courtroom was not available.