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Ex-San Diego mayor Filner escapes jail over sexual harassment charges

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, December 9, 2013 22:15 EDT
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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (Screenshot)
 
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Former San Diego mayor Bob Filner was sentenced Monday to three months of home confinement and three years of probation for sexually harassing female staff members.

The 71-year-old, who resigned in August over the scandal involving at least three women, was also barred from seeking public office while on probation.

But he escaped jail under the terms of a plea deal in which he pleaded guilty to two counts of battery and one of false imprisonment, involving putting one of the women in a headlock and grabbing the buttocks of another.

In a statement released with the sentencing, he apologized to his family and his victims and vowed to “earn back my trust and integrity, no matter how long it takes.”

“I have already started on that path and am grateful to all those helping me. The letters submitted by my family show the progress they have already seen,” he said.

“I am confident I will come out of this a better person, and I look forward to making future contributions to the city I love.”

During the three months of home confinement — starting January 1 — he will wear a GPS tracking device. After 18 months he can apply to have his probation reduced to informal probation. He must also undergo mental health treatment, and was fined $1,500.

Filner resigned on August 30 after nearly 20 women came forward with claims that he had groped or sexually harassed them over several years. They include his former communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson, who has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him.

Her lawyer Gloria Allred criticized the sentencing Monday

“Probation for three years and confinement to his house for three months sounds ominous, but let’s not ignore the fact that he will not have to spend one day in jail or prison,” she said.

“A criminal such as Bob Filner, who has pleaded guilty to a felony and two misdemeanors, should not be able to simply stay at home for three months and avoid any time in custody.”

The San Diego mayor’s downfall was precipitated before the wave of disclosures about Toronto mayor Rob Ford, stripped of most of his powers after a lurid string of claims, admissions and media appearances.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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