San Diego Mayor Bob Filner apologized for his behavior amid accusations of sexual harassment
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Ex-San Diego mayor Bob Filner was sentenced Monday
to three months of home confinement and three years of probation for
harassing women while he led America's eighth-largest city, completing
the fall of the former 10-term congressman.
Filner, who resigned
amid widespread allegations of sexual harassment, pleaded guilty in
October to one felony and two misdemeanors for placing a woman in a
headlock, kissing another woman and grabbing the buttocks of a third.
Court Judge Robert Trentacosta's sentence was the same as what
prosecutors recommended in a plea agreement with Filner. The 71-year-old
former mayor faced a maximum penalty of three years in prison for the
felony and one year in jail for each misdemeanor.
specified the Filner may not seek or hold elective office during the
term of his probation and will be monitored by GPS during his home
confinement, which begins on Jan. 1 and ends March 31. Exceptions to
home confinement include medical, mental health and therapy appointments
as well as travel to religious services.
Filner spoke briefly during the sentencing hearing.
want to apologize to my family who have stood by me through this
ordeal, to my loyal staff and supporters, the citizens of San Diego and
most sincerely to the women I have hurt and offended," Filner said.
He promised to earn back their trust and recover his integrity.
"Certainly the behaviors before this court today will never be repeated," he said.
Mandel, supervising state deputy attorney general, said victims in the
criminal complaint did not want to address the court. She said Filner
had demeaned, humiliated and embarrassed them.
"Today is the day that Bob Filner begins to pay his debt to the citizens of San Diego," she said.
Filner sold himself to voters as a champion of civil rights, she said, but his behavior revealed a "very different person."
who is divorced, was convicted of felony false imprisonment for
restraining a woman against her will at a fund-raiser on March 6 and
applying additional force when she resisted. His attorney, Jerry
Coughlan, has said it was a headlock.
The misdemeanor counts of
battery were for kissing a woman on the lips without permission at a
"Meet the Mayor" event on April 6 and grabbing another woman's buttocks
at a May 25 rally to clean up an island in San Diego's bay. None of the
victims have been identified.
Nearly 20 women have publicly
identified themselves as targets of Filner's unwanted advances,
including kissing, groping and requests for dates. His accusers include a
retired Navy rear admiral, a San Diego State University dean and a
great-grandmother who volunteers answering senior citizens' questions at
The charges do not involve Filner's former
communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson, who expedited the
mayor's downfall by becoming the first to go public with sexual
harassment allegations in July. She has filed a lawsuit against Filner
and the city, claiming her boss asked her to work without panties,
demanded kisses, told her he wanted to see her naked and dragged her in a
headlock while whispering in her ear.
Gloria Allred, McCormack Jackson's attorney, said outside court that Filner was "one lucky man" for being spared jail time.
"Mr. Filner, count your blessings. Your freedom is a gift which you do not deserve," she said.
McCormack Jackson did not speak.
disappeared from public view after leaving office Aug. 30, less than
nine months into a four-year term. He said little when he resurfaced six
weeks later to plead guilty in San Diego Superior Court, but his
attorney told reporters then that the former mayor "profusely
apologizes" for his behavior.
The former mayor devoted himself to
jogging, getting therapy and talking to friends after leaving office,
his attorney said in October. Television news crews hoping for a glimpse
of Filner were disappointed when he showed up at jail a day earlier
than expected for booking.
Filner was elected San Diego's first
Democratic mayor in 20 years, promising to put neglected neighborhoods
ahead of entrenched downtown business interests.
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