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Former San Diego mayor pleads guilty to criminal charges

SAN DIEGO — Bob Filner, the former San Diego mayor forced out of office in a storm of sexual harassment allegations, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a series of false imprisonment and battery charges involving three women.

The ordeal for Filner and the city he led for less than a year ended at a 16-minute court hearing in San Diego Superior Court where Filner entered his plea with a series of “yes sirs” as the judge described the scope of the one felony charge and two misdemeanor charges.

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It was a sharp contrast from his resignation speech in August, when the mayor said he had been the victim of a “lynch mob.” His lawyer, Jerry Coughlan, said afterward that the once-defiant Filner, who faced sexual harassment allegations from 17 women, had “learned to get beyond denial” during his treatment for sexual disorders at a facility in Los Angeles in September.

Under the terms of the plea agreement with Kamala Harris, the state attorney general, Filner will be on probation for three years. As a condition of probation, Filner will submit to treatment at the discretion of a mental health professional.

Filner also faces three months of house confinement and a loss of his pension from the time of the first allegation to the date of his resignation, a period of about six months. Filner will face a six-month jail term if he violates the terms of his probation.

The deal signals the end of Filner’s life in elective politics, which included nearly 20 years in Congress and the distinction of being San Diego’s first Democratic mayor in more than 20 years. He is barred from again running for office.

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