By Bay City News
Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo pleaded not guilty Friday morning to a misdemeanor charge of peeking in the door and window of a female neighbor's house five months ago.
Carrillo, 31, did not appear before Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Antolini Friday morning. His attorney Chris Andrian entered the plea on his behalf.
Antolini scheduled Jan. 17 for a settlement conference and Feb. 28 for trial.
After the brief hearing, Andrian said he and prosecutors will meet before Jan. 17 to exchange their theories about what happened on July 13, when Carrillo was arrested for prowling and attempted burglary at the woman's apartment in the area of Stony Point Road and West Third Street in Santa Rosa.
The complaint filed by the state Attorney General's Office alleges Carrillo "unlawfully, while loitering, prowling and wandering upon the private property of another, Jane Doe, did peek in the door and window of an inhabited building and structure located thereon without visible and lawful
business with the owner and occupant thereof."
Napa County Deputy District Attorney Cody Hunt is prosecuting the case for the Attorney General's Office.
Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch said she is not prosecuting Carrillo to avoid a conflict of interest.
Ravitch said the Board of Supervisors oversees and votes on her office's budget. Ravitch and Carrillo are political allies.
The unidentified woman called police around 3:40 a.m. on July 13 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.
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.
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.
The woman's attorney, Rosanne T. Darling, said her client is disappointed the case continues to drag on.
"She's frustrated it's taken so long. She believes if he (Carrillo) was truly remorseful he would have taken responsibility and pleaded guilty," Darling said.
Darling has previously said her client thought the misdemeanor peeking charge was "inadequate."
If Carrillo were convicted of a felony, he'd face removal from office.
Carrillo entered an alcohol treatment center for five weeks after his arrest. When he unexpectedly returned to a Board of Supervisors meeting on Aug. 20, he publicly apologized, disclosed he is a binge drinker and said he is continuing outpatient treatment.
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