LA Councilman Huizar was subject of criminal investigation in ’05
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar, who recently was accused by a former top aide of pressuring her for sex and retaliating when she rebuffed him, was the subject of a 2005 criminal investigation in which a Pasadena massage therapist said he groped her, the Los Angeles Times reported today.
At the time, Huizar was president of the Los Angeles school board and running for the City Council, according to The Times, which based its story on records and interviews.
The Pasadena Police Department recently released a summary of its investigation in response to a state Public Records Act request by The Times.
According to the summary, an employee of the Burke Williams spa in Old Town Pasadena said that on the evening of April 9, 2005, “the suspect grabbed (her) legs during the massage and attempted to pull her toward the massage table. Additionally, at the conclusion of the massage, the suspect grabbed the victim’s leg, arm and breast.”
The complainant gave the name of her alleged assailant as Jose Huizar, according to the summary cited by The Times. Police investigated the incident as a possible misdemeanor sexual battery, Lt. Tracey Ibarra, a police spokeswoman, told the newspaper.
The woman later decided she did not want to proceed with the complaint, and the prosecutor’s office did not file charges.
Huizar referred questions about the matter to his press secretary, Rick Coca, who issued a brief statement: “The council member recalls being contacted about an investigation more than eight years ago. There was no follow- up with him.”
In October, Huizar’s former deputy chief of staff at City Hall, Francine Godoy, sued him, alleging workplace discrimination and sexual harassment. She contends in the suit that Huizar “explicitly conditioned” her employment benefits on sexual favors and punished her when she spurned his advances.
Huizar has acknowledged a “consensual relationship” with Godoy but says her harassment allegations are “false and malicious.”