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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  1. There will never be a resolution to this problem because those in power are the perpertrators and they will protect their own at the cost of the victim. Until this matter is handled by someone other that the chain of command there will never be a resolution. The military use to stand for something but it’s sad to see what these leaders are doing or have done. The ones that know the heat is on them are retiring to avoid being procecuted.

  2. Outraged in Omaha on

    8 women have accused Filner of inappropriate behavior; one was a retired Navy admiral. Does anyone know her name?

  3. All I would like to say is yes, we do have some victims of sexual assault in the military but we also have liars of attacks to get what they want as well. Please, people lets not jump the gun and say that all accused is Guilty because I know that is not the case. I know someone that is going through this same problem right now and the victim has lied against this Soldier for personal gain and cost this family so much money in legal fees for NOTHING. Please just don’t be so quick to pass judgement without all the facts. Thanks

  4. If we truly want to get control of sexual harrassment in the military, it start with clear rules and discipline. discipline is trust in the military, the confidence of knowing that no matter what a soldier feels or thinks, they will act as trained. if you train them to respect they will, if you train them to fight they will.there is no excuse for taking advantage of a fellow brother or sister in uniform. Clean up the rules. no dating fellow millitary personal. Unfortunately , most women in the military date, coopulate, or engage in ralationships with military members. this needs to stop, discipline must increase. If they wear a uniform, there should be no sexual interaction at any time. We in todays society must learn to preserve the simplicity of black and white. When we allow our standards and our morality to grow in the grey area, then we no longer can truly enforce right or wrong.
    p.s. teach female soldiers to be more responsable, with there choices and decisions, if they are going to be portrayed as helpless victims, maybe its time they learn not to be helpless.

  5. 6 miles a day on

    “Unfortunately , most women in the military date, coopulate, or engage in ralationships with military members. this needs to stop, discipline must increase. If they wear a uniform, there should be no sexual interaction at any time.” -Sam

    smh, someone needs to do some more research. They have JOIN SPOUSE for crying out-loud.

    btw – consentual relationships =/= sexual assault, so you’re opinion is irrelevant.

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