Two military veterans who said they had been victims of past sexual assault told CNN Wednesday that they experienced uncomfortable advances from San Diego Mayor Bob Filner at a veterans’ event.
Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Eldonna Fernandez told CNN she met Filner in August 2012 while speaking at an event for National Women’s Veterans Association of America (NWVAA), an organization that supports victims of military sexual assault. Fernandez said Filner asked her out to dinner after learning that she was divorced, then immediately left a “creepy” voicemail for her saying “‘I don’t want to wait ’til you come back to have dinner with you.'”
Army veteran Gerri Tindley told CNN that she gave a speech on rape at that same NWVAA event, where Filner was also slated to speak. Tindley said Filner asked her about her rape during her time in the service and felt uncomfortable when he tried to move close to her.
“He got as close as he could to me. His jacket was touching my jacket,” Tindley said. “I was bent down. He was bent down with me, rubbing like he cared, like he was consoling me.”
After allegations of sexual harassment against Filner emerged in the public sphere in July, NWVAA President Tara Jones revoked an invitation for Filner to speak and receive an award at an event this August.