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Published Oct. 16, 2013

Associated Press

SAN DIEGO - Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, driven from office in August by sexual harassment allegations, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a felony for putting a woman in a headlock and to lesser counts for kissing one woman and grabbing the buttocks of another.

The pleas came less than two months after the 10-term Democratic congressman defiantly said he was the victim of a lynch mob and insisted he would be vindicated of the sexual harassment claims by at least 17 women if due process was allowed to run its course.

Filner, 71, said little on Tuesday except "guilty" when a judge read the charges against him - one count of felony false imprisonment and two counts of misdemeanor battery.

Under a plea deal, the state Attorney General's Office will recommend Filner be sentenced to three months of home confinement and three years of probation. The maximum possible sentence for a false imprisonment count is three years in prison and one year for each count of battery.

Filner restrained a woman against her will at a fundraiser on March 6, applying additional force after she resisted, according to the plea agreement. Filner put her in a headlock, his attorney, Jerry Coughlan, told reporters.

He also kissed a woman without permission at a "Meet the Mayor" event on April 6 and groped another victim at a May 25 rally to clean up Fiesta Island in Mission Bay. The victims were not identified.