Off-duty Border Patrol agent sentenced for punching woman at Del Mar show

Kallie Helwig sentenced to probation

VISTA, Calif. - An off-duty Border Patrol agent who punched a Navy psychiatrist for complaining about the defendant's behavior with another off-duty agent during a performance of Cirque du Soleil was sentenced Friday to probation and advised that she couldn't own or possess a firearm for 10 years.

Kallie Lamb Helwig, 25, was convicted last month of a misdemeanor battery charge in connection with the incident last May 27 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Judge Harry Elias told Helwig that because of the conviction, she was prohibited from having any firearms for the next decade.

The Border Patrol issued a statement, which read: "All Customs and Border Protection employees are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner while on or off duty. Presently, the employee in question is on administrative duties pending an internal investigation."

Jurors acquitted Helwig and fellow Agent Gerald Torello of committing a lewd act and deadlocked on a second lewd act count and a battery charge against Torello. Those misdemeanor charges were dismissed Friday.

Navy Lt. Chai Wu testified at trial that she witnessed Helwig and Torello "kissing and groping" during a matinee performance and saw what she believed to be Helwig performing a sex act with Torello.

Wu said she told the couple to "get a room," then tried to alert security.

At the end of the show, Helwig and Wu got into a scuffle near an exit and Helwig said she punched Wu in self-defense.

Defense attorneys said Torello, 35, and Helwig kissed and were affectionate during the performance but maintained that witnesses misconstrued what happened.

Helwig testified that she was feeling ill and at one point rested her head in Torello's lap.

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