San Diego, CA- Earlier this week Mayor Bob Filner entered a treatment program to help him with his sexual “problem,” meanwhile more women have come forward with allegations that he sexually harassed them, bringing the number of accusers to over a dozen.
Though it may not be a surprise that he subjected numerous women to his unbridled sexual proclivities, it is alarming that he victimized several women who suffered sexual assaults during their military service.
One of the latest accusers, Eldonna Fernandez, told CNN Filner approached her at a NWAA event and asked her out on date. Fernandez, who was raped three times during her 23 years in the military, didn’t find the request for a date disturbing, what she found disturbing was who he was hitting on and where.
Mayor Filner encountered his latest accusers at a National Women’s Veterans Association of America event where former military sexual assault and rape victims openly discussed their experiences. Fernandez was one of the few women at the “healing” event who was approached by 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.
Tara Jones president of the NWAA told CNN that when the accusations against began to pile on she spoke with several women in her organization who said they were also subjected to Filner’s out-of-control libido.
The women believe Filner abused his post on the House Veterans’ Affairs to gain access to them and knew because of their prior experiences they were unlikely to report his inappropriate sexual advances.
Another accuser, Gerri Tindley also spoke at the event, giving an emotional speech about her rape which produced a child. Tindley was approached by Filner after her speech and she initially believed that he was trying to console her, but he got so close to her it made her feel uncomfortable. She said he was close that she almost fell of a couch trying to get away from Filner.
Jones said the women from her organization were subjected to a range of inappropriate behaviors at the hands of then Congressman Fillner.
“He went to dinners, asked women out to dinners, grabbed breasts, buttocks. The full gamut. Everything that is complete violation of what we stand for,” Jones said. “He’s a sexual predator. And he used this organization for his own personal agenda.”
“He preyed upon people who were vulnerable, who he knew nine times out of 10 would not speak up, that didn’t have enough strength in them to speak up,” Jones told CNN.
Jones, Tindley and Fernandez now join the chorus of people who are urging Mayor Filner to resign. His peers, victims and political leaders have repeatedly asked Filner to step down. In spite of the lawsuits, Filner refuses to step down and believes that two weeks of intensive therapy will help cure him of his pattern of inappropriate sexual behavior.