They are also among at least eight female veterans and members of the National Women's Veterans Association of America (NWVAA) in San Diego who have made accusations against the mayor. Almost all of the women say they were victims of sexual assault while they were in the military.
The women, like Fernandez, say the former chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee used his significant power and credentials to access military sexual assault survivors, who they say are less likely to complain.
Tara Jones, the president of the group, said she's spoken to seven to eight women who had varying encounters with Filner at the women's veteran events, from groping to unwanted requests for dates.
"He went to dinners, asked women out to dinners, grabbed breasts, buttocks. The full gamut. Everything that is complete violation of what we stand for," Jones said. "He's a sexual predator. And he used this organization for his own personal agenda."
Jones remembers Filner's speeches, where he has often called for a zero tolerance of sexual abuse in the armed forces. She said she feels not only outrage but also a deep and familiar sense of being victimized by a man of power.
"He preyed upon people who were vulnerable, who he knew nine times out of 10 would not speak up, that didn't have enough strength in them to speak up," she said. "It's not OK. You need to not be in office. You need to be out of office. You need to not have the ability to prey on others."
How absolutely horrifying. These women came out of the military having been sexually assaulted only to further receive abuse from a Congressman who was supposed to be helping them. If you're wondering where the massive outrage from the Democratic Party is over Filner, there hasn't been nearly enough.
Filner is currently in rehab and still wants taxpayers to foot the bills for more than a dozen accusations of sexual misconduct against him. And just as a reminder, Filner's disgusting and creepy behavior has been going on for a decade according to Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen.
This guy has kind of been this way all along. That everybody thought that he was a little creepy.