CNN: Victims of military sexual assault accuse San Diego mayor of making unwanted advances


San Diego Mayor Bob Filner speaks July 26 during a news conference at city hall in San Diego. Two women who say they were victims of sexual assault while serving in the military have accused Filner of making unwanted advances toward them. (Associated Press)

Two women who say they were raped while serving in the military have told CNN that embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner made unwanted advances toward them after they met him at an event for female veterans.

Nearly a dozen women have come forward in recent weeks to accuse Filner, a 10-term congressman from California who is in his first term as mayor of San Diego, of making unwanted sexual advances. He has refused to step down despite repeated calls  to do so.

In a report dated Wednesday, retired Air Force Master Sgt. Eldonna Fernandez told CNN that she has a voicemail in which Filner asked her to dinner after they met at a National Women’s Veterans Association of America Healing and Hiring Fair. She called the message “creepy.”

Fernandez was joined in the CNN interview by Army veteran Gerri Tindley, who said Filner rubbed against her after she gave a speech in which she described being raped during her years in the Army.

The women are two of at least eight members of the NWVAA who say Filner, 70, made unwanted advances toward them, CNN reported.

Fernandez described the actions of Filner, former chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, this way to CNN:

“We’re all victims of military sexual assault. It appears to me that he was targeting the organization and hitting on the women of this organization because they were easy prey,” Fernandez said. “He’s part of an organization that’s against sexual assault and sexual violence against women and sexual harassment. And he’s doing the very thing that we are fighting to make stop in our service and in our country.”

Filner has checked into a therapy program to seek help. His representatives declined to comment to CNN, according to the network’s report.

See CNN’s full report here.


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