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Ex-mayor of San Diego pleads guilty to false imprisonment, battery

Ex-mayor of San Diego pleads guilty to false imprisonment, battery
Former San Diego, California mayor Bob Filner pleaded guilty to felony false imprisonment and misdemeanor battery on Tuesday less than two months after he resigned from office amid a widespread sex scandal.

Charges were filed against the former mayor early Tuesday, days following reports that he had become the target of a grand jury investigation after leaving office.

A hearing was expected at 10 a.m. local time that morning, and moments later the Associated Press announced over Twitter: “Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner pleads guilty to 3 criminal counts involving 3 women.”

San Diego Superior Court spokesperson Karen Dalton confirmed to the Washington Post earlier that day “The State Attorney General’s Office has charged Former Mayor Bob Filner with one felony count for false imprisonment by violence, fraud, menace and deceit (Penal Code Sections 236 and 237) and two misdemeanor counts of battery under Penal Code Sections 242 and 243.

Filner, 71, resigned in August amid allegations of sexual misconduct and impropriety by at least 17 women. Before being elected to lead the Southern California city in 2012, Filner served ten terms as a Democratic congressman for the state.

In a farewell speech to San Diego, Filner apologized for “letting the city down," but insisted he "never sexually harassed anyone" and blamed a "lynch mob" for his dramatic downfall.

The court did not elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the charges, and the AP has identified the victims only as three anonymous women.

Voice of San Diego managing editor Sara Libby reported that the felony charges relate to a March fundraising event, and the misdemeanor count stems from a “May Fiesta Island rally” earlier this year.

Filner will be sentenced December 9, Libby said. He reportedly faces a maximum of three-years for the felony charge.

Earlier this month, San Diego's 10News confirmed that Filner was being investigated by a secretive grand jury, presumably related to the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct that plagued his brief stint in City Hall as the city's first Democratic mayor in 20 years.

Dan Gilleon, an attorney who represents two women who filed claims against Filner, told the network “I don't think the attorney general would ask for a grand jury unless they believed they were going to get the indictment; that would be very embarrassing.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported before Filner's hearing on Tuesday that “charges ahead of grand jury proceedings may indicate a plea deal has been reached.”