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Gearhead Barbershop owner guilty of rape in Chico, appeal planned

By Bob Conrad

The owner of the Gearhead Barbershop at Wells Avenue and Second Street, Anthony Eidem, was found guilty yesterday of rape and “disruption of computer services.” 

Gearhead has shops in Reno and Chico, California, and the rape allegation stemmed from an incident in Chico. 

Anthony Eidem. Image: Butte County DA

Butte County’s District Attorney, Mike Ramsey, said in a press release Eidem raped a woman in October of 2019. 

“During the trial, the victim in the case took the stand and testified she was a former employee of Eidem and after he took her to several bars, he drove her to his home,” Ramsey said. “There he strangled and raped her. DNA evidence and physical injuries left all over the victim’s body established the brutal rape. 

“After assaulting the victim, Eidem stole her cellular phone and went through the contents of it, keeping it for three months before law enforcement discovered Eidem had the phone.”

The pandemic delayed the trial, and Eidem for the past two years proclaimed his innocence on social media and to the news media.

A jury yesterday, however, found him guilty. He faces up to 11 years in a state prison. 

Malicious prosecution alleged

Gabby Koloszar is married to but separated from Eidem. She said the case was a farce and that an appeal is being planned.

“They’ve had it out for him from day one,” Koloszar said. “This is about Tony versus the system.”

I believe in my client. I believe in his truth, but obviously a jury saw it a different way. It’s disappointing. It’s devastating.”

Eidem reopened his Chico barbershop after it was ordered closed during the pandemic. 

Koloszar said local government officials had it out for him after he spoke to local and national news media about defying COVID-19 directives.

“He didn’t shut down his business. We think that’s what this stems from,” she told This Is Reno. “He loved the media attention. It was seven months before they got a warrant and arrested him.”

That’s true. Eidem was arrested in April of 2020, well after the incident. News media reported that the matter was being investigated by Chico Police during that time. 

“We did not expect him not to be acquitted,” Koloszar said. “The sad part is it boils down to drama between two barbershops. We really thought he was going to get a fair shake.”

People in the Reno area who know Eidem also said the charges against him are unbelievable.

The Butte County DA disagreed. 

“Eidem had previously made statements to the press regarding the rape charges against him, saying that ‘I really want my day in court . . . I want justice to be served,’” Ramsey said.

“Eidem had his day in court, justice was served, and the truth prevailed when the jury found him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Eidem’s more recent newspaper advertisements for Gearhead Barber Shop included the quote: ‘Guilty of nothing but a good haircut.’ 

“He’s now guilty of being a violent sex offender,” Ramsey added.

Eidem’s attorney, Roberto Marquez, said the appeal is planned because of what he called prosecutorial misconduct and the DA improperly stating the law to the jury.

“We made those objections to judge,” he said. “I also believe in my client. I believe in his truth, but obviously a jury saw it a different way. It’s disappointing. It’s devastating.”