Bob Filner was ordered Monday to 90 days home confinement as punishment for three criminal charges connected to the sexual harassment scandal that ended his term as San Diego mayor.
The former congressman pleaded guilty to felony false imprisonment and two misdemeanor charges of battery.
Among his victims were a businesswoman who Filner held against her will and kissed at a fundraiser.
Another victim — the daughter of a longtime supporter — was grabbed by Filner while taking a photo with her family.
They were just two of more than a dozen women who accused the former mayor of inappropriate behavior in an ongoing scandal over the summer that ended with Filner's resignation.
On Monday, as he faced a judge for his formal sentencing, Filner apologized to his victims and said he has shown progress.
"To all of you I make the same promise I made to my family," Filner said. "To earn back your trust and my integrity no matter how long it takes."
The charges involve three separate victims identified by court officials as “Jane Does 1, 2 and 3,” who said Filner sexually harassed them while he was in office earlier this year
The victims were given the opportunity to speak but declined. Supervising Deputy Attorney General Melissa Mandel spoke on their behalf.
“Filner demeaned his victims, he humiliated them, he scared them, he embarrassed them, he sexualized and devalued them and he did all of this with the power and influence of the public office he held,” Mandel told the court.
John Gastaldo / Pool via Reuters
Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is pictured with Earll Pott, a member of his defense team, during his sentencing hearing in San Diego, California, December 9, 2013.
Filner arrived before 9 a.m. looking fit and relaxed and chatting with some members of the local media. A Filner supporter walked up to the former mayor and thanked him for everything he has done.
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When given the opportunity, Filner made the following statement:
"I will be very brief. I want to apologize. To my family who have stood by me through this ordeal, to my loyal staff and supporters, to the citizens of San Diego and most sincerely to the women I have hurt and offended, to all of you I make the same promise I made to my family to earn back your trust and my 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 to this court by my family show the progress they have already seen Certainly the behaviors before this court today will never be repeated. 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."
San Diego judge Robert J. Trentacosta stayed within the plea agreement guidelines and ordered the former mayor to GPS monitoring for 90 days and fines and fees of less than $2,000.
Under the terms, Filner will be on probation for three years with 6 months of custody stayed.
He must agree not to seek or hold public office, undergo treatment as recommended by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist and surrender his city retirement.
For the first 18 months he'll have to report periodically to a probation officer. If there aren't any problems, he will be unsupervised though still on probation.
A defense attorney's previous explanation of his client's right to vote being revoked under the agreement was incorrect.
The former mayor didn’t speak directly to the media because of pending civil cases, his attorney said.
Gloria Allred, attorney for Filner accuser Irene McCormack Jackson who has filed a civil lawsuit against the former mayor and the City of San Diego, said Filner was lucky to have avoided time behind bars.
“He was given enormous power by the citizens of San Diego to do good,” Allred said. “Instead, he misused that power and position to take advantage of women in order to fulfill his sexual needs.”
The accusations against Filner first went public in July when many of his former allies, including former San Diego City Council Member Donna Frye, exposed his behavior and demanded he step down from office.
From there, more than a dozen women came forward with stories of sexual harassment at the hands of Filner, including former communications director to the mayor, Irene McCormack Jackson, who filed a lawsuit against the city.
After weeks of controversy, recall efforts and more accusers, Filner resigned effective Aug. 30.
On Nov. 19, San Diego held a special election to fill the mayor’s seat left vacant by Filner.
Council Member Kevin Faulconer held a strong lead in the mayoral race, securing his spot for the February runoff, and Council Member David Alvarez received enough votes to face off against Faulconer in February.
First published December 9 2013, 1:11 PM