Disgraced former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner pleaded guilty Tuesday to a felony and two misdemeanors for unwanted physical contact with three different women at public events.
Filner, the first Democrat to serve as mayor of America’s eighth largest city in 20 years, resigned from office in August after some 20 women — including his chief communications officer – came forward with lurid descriptions of groping and other unwanted sexual advances.
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Tuesday’s action was part of a plea deal that calls for three months of home confinement and three years of probation. He also must undergo treatment for mental health and has promised never to seek public office again, according to media reports.
The felony false imprisonment plea involved a woman whom he restrained against her will at a March 6 fundraiser, U-T San Diego reported
. The misdemeanors involved a woman whom he kissed without permission at an April 6 Meet the Mayor event, and a woman whose rear he grabbed during a cleanup and rally at Fiesta Island in Mission Bay on May 25.
The maximum possible sentence for the felony is three years in prison; the misdemeanors could have led to one year in jail each.
Filner, 71, still faces a lawsuit filed by former communications officer Irene McCormack Jackson, who was the first person to publicly accuse the mayor of wrongdoing. Jackson is represented by attorney Gloria Allread, who sent the U-T an email in response to Tuesday’s guilty pleas.
She said Filner “abused his position of power and his position of trust and hurt many women. That is why on many occasions I urged the women of San Diego to contact the San Diego County Sheriff’s hotline if they had relevant information to report about Mayor Filner. I am proud of the women who did contact them. It is long overdue for him to be accountable in both the civil and criminal justice system and today is an important step in bringing Bob Filner to justice. His conduct as the mayor of San Diego was reprehensible and justice demands that he be punished or the harm he has caused to countless women who trusted and believed in him.”
Filner, a former Freedom Rider, served on the San Diego school board, the San Diego City Council, and as a San Diego-area congressman before he was elected mayor in November of 2012.
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