Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo delayed entering a plea this morning at his arraignment in Sonoma County Superior Court on a misdemeanor charge of peeking into the door or window of a woman’s apartment in July. Judge Lawrence Antolini ordered Carrillo to return on Dec. 13 to enter a plea on the charge, which carries a six-month sentence. Santa Rosa police arrested Carrillo on July 13 on suspicion of prowling and attempted burglary at the woman’s apartment in the area of Stony Point Road and West Third Street in west Santa Rosa.
The unidentified woman called police around 3:40 a.m. to report someone tried to enter her bedroom window. She called police again while they were responding and said someone knocked on her door, identified himself as a neighbor and ran away. Carrillo, the county’s 5th District supervisor who lived nearby on Brockhurst Drive at the time, was in his socks and underwear and was carrying a cellphone when he was arrested at the scene. Santa Rosa police Sgt. Terry Anderson said the screen on the woman’s bedroom window had been torn enough to allow someone to reach through it and a partially open window.
The woman said she was awakened by the sound of window blinds being moved, Anderson said. Napa County Deputy District Attorney Cory Hunt, who is handling the prosecution for the state Attorney General’s Office, gave a thick manila envelope containing police reports and other discovery material to Carrillo’s attorney Chris Andrian this morning. Hunt would not comment why the complaint did not allege a felony burglary charge or a prowling, vandalism or attempted sexual assault charge. Carrillo faced removal from office if he were convicted of a felony. “We have enough evidence to prove the charge as filed,” Hunt said. Santa Rosa police said earlier that they suspected Carrillo might have intended to commit a sexual assault.
“Due to the nature of the offense, a detective from the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Investigations Team was called out to assist,” Anderson said in a news release in July. Anderson said the victim said she knew Carrillo but their only interactions were informal neighborhood contacts on several separate occasions more than a month before the incident. Hunt referred questions about the attempted sexual assault speculation to Santa Rosa police.
Anderson did not immediately return a phone call for comment this morning. Rosanne Darling, the attorney for the victim, said Thursday the misdemeanor peeking charge is “inadequate” but her client is relieved Carrillo has been “brought to justice.” Hunt said there have been no discussions about a possible settlement of the case before a trial. The court date for the filing of charges was delayed three times since Carrillo’s arrest. Hunt said the delay was because of the investigation into the case.
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