Ex-San Diego Mayor Filner charged with false imprisonment
SAN DIEGO (CNN) — The San Diego mayor who resigned this summer over accusations of sexual impropriety has been charged in connection with allegations made by three women, the San Diego County Superior Court said Tuesday.
Bob Filner was charged with a felony count of “false imprisonment by violence, fraud, menace and deceit,” and two misdemeanor counts of battery, the court said.
Filner, also a former nine-term Democratic congressman, resigned from the mayor’s post in August after at least 19 women accused him of sexual harassment and boorish behavior.
The victims were identified as Jane Does 1, 2 and 3.
When Filner resigned in August, 19 women had come forward publicly to accuse him of inappropriate behavior during his time as a congressman and, since 2012, as a mayor.
The one-by-one emergence of the 19 women accusing Filner of sexual harassment or other misconduct became a daily scandal for weeks that withered Filner’s political standing.
Numerous public officials, including all nine City Council members and the state’s two U.S. senators, urged Filner to step down. So, too, did a majority of locals, according to polls.
After the City Council voted 7-0 to accept his resignation, Filner spoke at a council meeting and offered a “deep apology … to all the citizens.”
“The city should not have been put through this,” the 70-year-old mayor said. “And my own personal failures were responsible.”
A short time later, though, Filner went on the defensive, even alleging that his ouster was “a political coup.” While admitting that his behavior toward women was inappropriate at times, he insisted that he “never sexually harassed anyone.”
In the process of “trying to establish personal relationships,” the mayor explained, “the combination of awkwardness and hubris, I think, led to behavior that many found offensive.” He added, “Not one allegation … has ever been independently verified or proven in court.”
“But the hysteria that has been created … is the hysteria of a lynch mob,” Filner said, criticizing an environment in which “rumors become allegations, allegations become facts, facts become evidence of sexual harassment which have led to demands for my resignation and recall.”
Blasting politicians and members of the media who “unleashed a monster,” the mayor said, “The hysteria ended up playing into the hands of those who wanted a political coup — the removal of a democratically elected mayor purely by rumor and innuendo.”
By Kyung Lah and Michael Martinez
CNN’s Michael Martinez wrote and reported from Los Angeles, Kyung Lah reported from San Diego, and Jason Hanna contributed to this report.