Almost 90 alleged victims or witnesses contacted the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department regarding Bob Filner's behavior but not all of the tips resulted in criminal charges the sheriff revealed Tuesday.
Hours earlier the former mayor of San Diego pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and admitted he grabbed one woman’s buttocks and forced a kiss on another at three separate public events over the last 6 months.
Filner and his defense team accepted the terms of a plea agreement offered by the California Attorney General’s Office.
San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said his deputies interviewed around 90 people in response to more than 200 calls received by the department’s dedicated phone line in the Filner case.
These calls came into the tip line over the course of about three months, Gore said.
What began with two investigators soon swelled to a team of five. Deputies met with alleged victims, documented their stories and reviewed electronic and hard copy documents.
They gathered the facts and then sent them to the prosecutors for consideration.
Gore would not go into how many actual victims his department handled since he said some of those who contacted them described conduct that did not rise to the level of criminal conduct or did not meet the statute of limitations.
“It was definitely shocking to hear some of the stories we had to hear,” said one of the deputies on the team, Det. Kristin Brayman.
Gore said some of the allegations were said to have occurred during Filner’s term as a U.S. Congressman.
When it comes to specifics, Gore said the charges filed against Filner by the Attorney General's office – one felony count of false imprisonment and two misdemeanor counts of battery - accurately represent the type of conduct they were investigating.
“When you weigh all the considerations the Attorney General’s office had to go through in this case, I think it was a fair outcome,” Gore said.
Even though the department has closed its dedicated phone line, Gore encouraged anyone who may have been victimized by the former mayor to contact the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
“This was a very sensitive and high-profile case and any unauthorized disclosure of information during the investigation would have not been fair to the victims or the accused,” said Gore during Tuesday’s media briefing.
“I am extremely proud of my detectives and the partnership we formed with the Attorney General's Office that led to the successful resolution of this case. The hotline is now closed and this investigation is concluded. Today's guilty plea ends a dark chapter in San Diego's history and allows both the city and the victims to begin the healing the process.”