Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo's 'Peeking' Trial Starts Friday

Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo. Patch file photo.
Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo. Patch file photo.
After a series of postponements and settlement conferences, Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo's trial on a misdemeanor peeking charge will begin Friday in Sonoma County Superior Court.

Judge Gary Medvigy will hear pre-trial motions about evidence in the case Friday and jury selection is expected to begin Monday.

Carrillo, 33, allegedly peeked into the window and door of a female neighbor's home in the area of Stony Point Road and West Third Street in Santa Rosa on July 13.

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, according to Santa Rosa police.

Carrillo, the county's 5th District supervisor who lived nearby on Brockhurst Drive, was in his socks and underwear and was carrying a cellphone when he was arrested at the scene on suspicion of prowling and burglary.

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.

At a trial readiness hearing this morning, Carrillo's attorney Chris Andrian said there was a prior meeting between Carrillo and the alleged victim in a bar.

Supervising Deputy Attorney General Joyce Blair objected to Andrian's use of the word "meeting" and the intimation it was prearranged.

"They just happened to see each other," Blair told Medvigy.

The state Attorney General's Office is prosecuting Carrillo. Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch has recused her office from the case because she and Carrillo are political allies and because the county's Board of Supervisors approves her budget.

After today's hearing, the alleged victim's attorney Rosanne Darling also took issue with Andrian's mention of a meeting.

"Be careful how you use the word meeting. The word meeting is a strong word. Wait for the facts," Darling told reporters.

After the hearing, Andrian said Carrillo and the alleged victim also "met" on another occasion besides the one in the bar.

He previously told reporters the two were not strangers and were acquainted as neighbors.

Carrillo entered an alcohol treatment center after his arrest on July 13.

At a Board of Supervisors meeting in August, he apologized to the public and acknowledged his alcoholism.

In September 2012, Carrillo was arrested on suspicion of battery and disturbing the peace after a fight with another man outside a San Diego nightclub. Carrillo later released a statement saying that he only got into the fight after attempting to defend female friends who were being harassed by the man.

Prosecutors ultimately decided not to file charges in the case due to insufficient evidence and conflicting accounts of the incident, according to the San Diego City Attorney's Office.

Both Andrian and Blair agreed today that the alleged peeking victim would be referred to as Jane Doe during the trial.

Darling said that is appropriate and that her client is ready for the trial, which is expected to last two days once a jury is selected.

-- Bay City News


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