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Critics weigh options after Efren Carrillo's arraignment on peeking charge

  • Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo, center, talks briefly with his parents, Margarita and Efren Carrillo, Sr., after being arraigned on a misdemeanor charge in Sonoma County Superior Court in Santa Rosa on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013. (CHRISTOPHER CHUNG/ PD)

More than three months after his predawn arrest outside a Santa Rosa woman's home, Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo was arraigned Friday on a misdemeanor peeking charge before dozens of onlookers.

A prosecutor for the state Attorney General's Office said the allegation was supported by evidence. Carrillo was initially booked on suspicion of prowling and felony burglary, with police investigators saying they believe he intended to commit some type of sexual assault.

Prosecutor Cody Hunt would not address the disparity between the charge he filed and allegations leveled by Santa Rosa police after they arrested Carrillo.

“We filed charges we believe we could prove beyond a reasonable doubt,” Hunt said. “I'll just leave it at that.”

A lawyer for the 32-year-old supervisor asked for more time to review the police report before entering a plea. Attorney Chris Andrian said he just received the report in court.

“It's my job now to look at it and see what it is,” Andrian said.

No settlement offer has been extended, he said, but negotiations were expected involving the prosecutor and woman's attorney before the next hearing Dec. 13.

“It would be fair to say that over a period of time we'll go into discussions,” Andrian said.

The woman's lawyer, Rosanne T. Darling, said her client is still dealing with the aftermath of what she called a frightening experience.

“There's a lot she has to live with now,” Darling said outside court.

Darling said no civil lawsuit is planned at this point.

Carrillo declined to comment as he left the court. His parents and girlfriend were among supporters who attended the arraignment.

The lesser charge means his political career is no longer immediately threatened. If he had been charged with and convicted of a felony, he would have been removed from office.

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