On the run: Warrant issued for former COC professor convicted of sexual battery

Although scheduled to be sentenced July 5 after being convicted of sexual battery charges, a former College of the Canyons part-time professor failed to appear in court, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

McKale Antonious, 51, of Sylmar, was convicted of misdemeanor sexual battery by a Ventura County jury June 10 after the crime had occurred March 2, 2017, on the campus of Moorpark Community College.

The victim was a female student in Antonious’ Moorpark classes.

Sentencing for Antonious had been scheduled for July 5 at 8:30 a.m. in courtroom 44 of the Ventura County Superior Court. However, he never appeared.

“He failed to appear at his sentencing,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Andrea Haney said on Wednesday. “What that means essentially is that he’s evading the process of the court. The maximum punishment is 180 days, with probation and other considerations.”

Because it is a registrable offense, Antonious is also subject to registration as a sex offender under penal code section 290, according to Haney.

“Because he failed to appear, the court issued a bench warrant in the amount of $50,000,” said Haney. “I would encourage anyone who knows where he is to let law enforcement know, but at this time, we don’t have a strong indication of where he is.”

COC cut ties with Antonious this past spring after learning of his sentencing, according to college officials.

“He no longer teaches here at the college, and the crime that he was arrested for happened at another college and not at COC,” COC spokesman Eric Harnish said Tuesday. “The safety of our students is of the utmost importance, so his employment with the college was immediately terminated in March 2019 after he was ordered by a court not to have contact with anyone in a classroom or tutorial setting.”

Antonious taught part-time math at COC between 2009 and 2012, and again between 2017 and 2019, Harnish said.

Antonious has taught at various colleges including: Pepperdine University; California State University, Los Angeles; Santa Monica College; Coastline Community College; and Moorpark Community College, according to Haney.

Haney said during the trial prosecutors had presented evidence of a second uncharged sexual battery upon a female at Cal State L.A., and the second incident reportedly occurred Feb. 25.

It is being considered for a separate prosecution.

“The two witnesses we had were very compelling,” Haney said at the end of the trial last month. “They are the true heroes here. The protection of other students goes to them for having the courage to stand up and testify.”

Antonious has also used other names such as Zohair Isaac and Zohair Isshak.

Individuals who may have been victimized by Antonious can contact Ventura County District Attorney Investigator Kristina Bertilson at 805-477-1677.

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