Kamala Harris Under Fire Over Sweet Plea for Sex-Offending Democrat
As California AG, Harris' office negotiated a deal for former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner
Democratic 2020 hopeful Kamala Harris is under fire after details of a sweet plea deal her office negotiated for a sex-offending Democrat, during her time as California’s attorney general, have emerged.
The deal allowed a disgraced former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to avoid registering as a sex offender and dodge prison time.
Now-presidential candidate Harris’ then-office was reportedly in charge of negotiating a plea deal for Filner, stemming from allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against the former Democratic mayor brought by about 20 women in 2013.
Harris’s office drew backlash for letting Filner escape federal charges by pleading guilty to state charges of false imprisonment and battery against three women in exchange for a light sentence, according to the Washington Examiner.
According to Fox News, rather than spend five years behind bars, abusive Democrat Filner got three months of house arrest, three years' probation, and some loss of his mayoral pension.
It's a deal that probably wouldn't be considered acceptable today, critics said.
“The cultural change since #MeToo is having an impact of how prosecutors listen to victims now,” Maya Raghu, director of workplace equality and senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center, told the Washington Examiner.
"I think it all comes down to whether we believe women and how seriously we take these allegations.
"In serious instances, you need serious consequences.
“Powerful people can afford high-profile legal counsel that others don't have access to.
"People [such as Filner] know how to leverage the system in their favor.”
The plea deal is particularly awkward for Harris, one of the leading presidential candidates, who stressed on the campaign trail the importance of #MeToo movement.
She also slammed departing Labor Secretary Alex Acosta for taking part in the now-infamous Jeffery Epstein 2008 sweetheart plea deal that left the wealthy financier largely unscathed despite the severity of the crimes, saying the plea deal a “simple, very light pat on the hand.”
Harris’ campaign remained defiant and said in a statement that the Filner plea deal actually further boosts the California Democrat’s records as a prosecutor.
“She prosecuted a politician from her own party for sexual harassment, and he pled guilty to a felony,” the campaign’s spokesperson told the outlet.
“She was broadly praised for taking action, including by the Republican San Diego County district attorney who said it sent 'a strong message that nobody is above the law, abuse of women won't be tolerated and victims will be treated with respect.’”