Bob Filner finishes house arrest, still on probation

SAN DIEGO - Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner today was free to leave his downtown residential building for the first time in three months, having completed 90 days of house arrest.

The period of home confinement, which included GPS monitoring, was the result of the 71-year-old's guilty pleas last fall to false imprisonment and battery, stemming from allegations of sexual harassment by three women. The improprieties led the former Democratic congressman to leave office last Aug. 30.

Though no longer on house arrest, Filner remains on three years probation.

Eighteen months after his sentencing, Filner can apply to have his probation reduced to informal probation. He can also petition to have his felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. Filner was required to undergo mental health treatment while under court supervision. He also was fined $1,500.

According to a sentencing memorandum submitted by his defense team, Filner -- once he became mayor -- failed to keep up "with his longstanding exercise regimen and course of psychiatric counseling and medications that had been prescribed by congressional doctors to help stabilize his mood and safeguard his mental health.

"The sudden disruption in his medications, coupled with longstanding issues of anxiety and the stress of assuming a new, intensely political executive position substantially contributed to conduct, described in the
probation officer's report, which has brought Mr. Filner before this court," according to the defense memo.

Supervising state Deputy Attorney General Melissa Mandel told Presiding Judge Robert Trentacosta in October that Filner, while attending a fundraiser on March 6 of last year used "greater force than necessary" to restrain a woman against her will and used additional force to overcome her resistance in a move that became known as the "Filner headlock."

Mandel said he used force and kissed another woman on the lips without her consent at a "Meet the Mayor" event on April 6, 2013.

Filner also admitted grabbing a third woman on the buttocks after she asked to take a picture with him at a May 25 rally at Fiesta Island.

More than a dozen other women also accused Filner of sexual harassment of varying degrees but were not party to the criminal action taken against him.

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