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Ex-San Diego Mayor Filner pleads guilty to false imprisonment, battery

Former San Diego Mayor Filner pleaded guilty to charges of felony false imprisonment and misdemeanor battery.
October 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has pleaded guilty to charges of felony false imprisonment and misdemeanor battery.

The California Attorney General's Office filed charges Tuesday morning of one count of felony false imprisonment and two counts of misdemeanor battery, naming the victims Jane Does 1, 2 and 3.

The false imprisonment charge stems from a fundraising event in San Diego in March, when the 71-year-old mayor restrained Jane Doe 1 against her will. One battery charge stems from a "meet the mayor" event in April when Filner kissed the victim on the lips without her consent. And the second battery charge was from an incident at the Fiesta Island Rally in May when Filner grabbed the victim's bottom without her consent while posing for a photo with her.

"This conduct was not only criminal, it was also an extreme abuse of power," said Attorney General Kamala D. Harris in a statement. "This prosecution is about consequence and accountability. No one is above the law."

The charges come just months after allegations of sexual harassment forced Filner to resign in August. More than a dozen women accused him of sexual harassment, but in his farewell speech, he said he would be vindicated if the process was allowed to run its course.

Filner faced up to four years in state prison, but under the plea agreement, Filner will serve probation for three years and home confinement for three months. The agreement also bars Filner from ever seeking or holding public office again, and Filner will not be allowed to vote, serve on a jury or own a firearm while he is on probation due to the felony plea.

The plea agreement also requires that Filner undergo treatment as directed by a mental health professional during his probation. If he violates probation, he could face up to six months in jail.

Fines for restitution, probation and court fees will be determined at the sentencing hearing, which has been scheduled for Dec. 9. According to the California Attorney General's Office, the three victims agreed with the plea agreement in the case.

Filner did not address reporters after the arraignment hearing, but his attorney said the former mayor "profusely apologizes" for his behavior.

A mayoral election to replace Filner will be held on Nov. 19. The current interim mayor, Todd Gloria, a Democrat, said he would not run for the office. Filner was the first Democrat to lead the city in 20 years and only the second in four decades.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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