Violent rape victim says Filner sexually harassed her at women’s event
Democratic San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s alleged sexual harassment victims keep coming forward.
Two more women are calling Filner out for harassment, CNN reports, bringing the most recent tally of Filner’s accusers to 13.
“Hi, it’s your newly favorite congressman, Bob Filner. You know, the one who fell in love with you at your last speech,” Filner said in a voicemail left for retired Air Force Master Sergeant Eldonna Fernandez last year, and obtained by CNN.
Fernandez and Army veteran Gerri Tindley told CNN that they both were harassed by Filner.
Fernandez and Tindley met Filner at the same National Women’s Veterans Association of America event. Fernandez, who spoke at the August 2012 event, told CNN she exchanged business cards with Filner.
“He looks at my card. He looks at me. He says, ‘Fernandez. Are you married? Do you have a husband?’ Very quick, very direct. I said, ‘No, I’m divorced.’ ‘Well, you’re beautiful, and I can’t take my eyes off you, and I want to take you to dinner.’ I was really shocked and I was like, ‘Uh, OK,’” Fernandez told CNN.
Fernandez never responded to the “creepy” voicemail.
Tindley also gave a speech at the event, focused on violent rape she experienced while serving. Filner reportedly asked Tindley about her rape and proceeded to sexually harass her.
‘He got as close as he could to me. His jacket was touching my jacket,” Tindley recalled the incident to CNN. “I was bent down. He was bent down with me, rubbing like he cared, like he was consoling me.”
Tindley said she did not speak up at the time because she was intimidated.
Fernandez and Tindley, like many of Filner’s other accusers, are military veterans who were victims of sexual assault during their service, according to CNN.
Tara Jones, president of the NWVAA told CNN she has spoken with seven of the veterans who had unsavory experiences with the mayor.
“He went to dinners, asked women out to dinners, grabbed breasts, buttocks. The full gamut. Everything that is a complete violation of what we stand for,” she said. “He’s a sexual predator. And he used this organization for his own personal agenda.”
Fernandez further charged that Filner targeted the organization because the women there “were easy prey.”
Filner checked into a two-week therapy program on Monday. He has refused calls to step down, despite facing a lawsuit from his former communications director.
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