SAN DIEGO (AP) — Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, driven from office by sexual harassment allegations, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a felony for putting a woman in a headlock and to less serious charges for kissing another woman against her will and grabbing the buttocks of a third.
The pleas came less than two months after the 10-term congressman defiantly said he was the victim of a lynch mob and insisted he would be vindicated of the sexual harassment claims by at least 17 women if due process was allowed to run its course.
His accusers included a retired navy admiral, a university dean and great grandmother.
Filner said little on Tuesday beyond "guilty" when a judge read the charges against him — one count of felony false imprisonment and two counts of misdemeanor battery.
Under a plea deal, the state attorney general's office will recommend Filner be sentenced to three months of home confinement and three years of probation. The maximum possible sentence for a false imprisonment count is three years in prison and one year for each count of battery.
Filner restrained a woman against her will at a fundraiser on March 6, applying additional force after she resisted, according to the plea agreement. Filner put her in a headlock, his attorney, Jerry Coughlan, told reporters.
He also kissed a woman without permission at a "Meet the Mayor" event on April 6 and groped another victim at a May 25 rally to clean up Fiesta Island in Mission Bay. None of the victims were identified.
Filner, 71, did not comment after the hearing but his attorney said the former mayor "profusely apologizes" for his behavior.
"I think he wants to redeem his original legacy, which was a wonderful one, and put this behind him," Coughlan said. "He's been jogging, he's been getting therapy, talking to friends, trying to come to terms with how to deal with these kinds of problems. It's a full-time job."
Filner resigned Aug. 30, succumbing to intense pressure after the parade of women accused him of sexual harassment. He had held the office for less than nine months of a four-year term and was San Diego's first Democratic mayor in 20 years.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department opened a hotline for complaints about Filner in July and said it would deliver findings to the attorney general's office for possible prosecution. The state attorney general's office later confirmed that it launched a criminal investigation
"This conduct was not only criminal, it was also an extreme abuse of power," California Attorney General Kamala Harris said. "This prosecution is about consequence and accountability. No one is above the law."
Cut pounds of stomach fat every week by using this 1 weird old tip.