Former San Diego mayor Bob Filner was sentenced to three years of probation on Monday, on three counts of mistreating women, one of which was a felony. The 71-year-old politician, who served in Congress for two decades, avoided jail time under a plea agreement with prosecutors.
At the hearing, Filner apologized to his family, staff, former constituents, and to the women he harassed. "Certainly the behaviors before this court today will never be repeated," he said in a very brief statement, citing the treatment regiment he entered into shortly before his resignation from office.
Under the plea deal, Filner will spend three months in home confinement, starting at the beginning of 2014. He will lose his pension credit since the time of the first offense in March. As part of the agreement, Filner will be unable to seek public office again. None of the women involved in the charges against Filner wanted to give an impact statement during the sentencing hearing. Instead, a statement was read on their behalf.
Before his resignation on August 30, Filner had been accused of misconduct and inappropriate behavior by at least 18 women. He was later charged with a felony false imprisonment for forcefully restraining a woman at a fundraiser earlier this year. The two misdemeanor charges related to accusations of kissing a woman without her consent, and groping a woman's backside during a photo op. Filner pleaded guilty to those charges on October 15th.
According to the probation report described by the Los Angeles Times, Filner is "a hard-driving perfectionist with an abrasive manner and a patronizing, retrograde attitude toward women." The report argues that, facing pressure from his job as mayor, Filner stopped taking "mood stabilizing medication, leading to the aggressive behaviors detailed in the charges. He is now regretful of those actions.
The former mayor still faces a civil lawsuit, filed by Filner's former communications director Irene McCormack Jackson.