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Arraignment Postponed For Councilwoman Accused Of Attacking Former Lover

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SAN FERNANDO (CBS) — Arraignment was postponed Thursday for a San Fernando city councilwoman who is accused of attacking her former lover and fellow councilmember.

Maribel De La Torre is charged with misdemeanor battery and vandalism in connection with a June 28 confrontation involving former San Fernando Mayor Mario Hernandez.

De La Torre is accused of trying to strangle Hernandez and smashing his iPad during the incident, which resulted in both parties filing restraining orders against each another.

The affair has been public since Hernandez announced it at a council meeting last November, with his wife in attendance.

“I’d like to put out there, before, and squash the rumors, that yes, I have been in a relationship with Councilwoman De La Torre,” he said at the time.

Hernandez has since resigned from the San Fernando City Council. He has said publicly that he wants to drop his battery complaint against his former lover and that he never intended for her to be prosecuted.

In court Thursday, Hernandez submitted a statement to the District Attorney stating he refused to testify against De La Torre. He also said he was ready to speak on his ex-lover’s behalf.

In fact, a lawyer for De La Torre says Hernandez wants to resume their relationship, according to KNX1070’s Jon Baird.

Following the proceedings, De La Torre spoke publicly to the press for the first time.

“I’m not guilty; I acted in self-defense.” she said. “If the D.A.’s office wishes to pursue this case, we want to take this to trial . . . so the real story can be told and that I can be exonerated of the charges brought before me.”

De La Torre’s arraignment and potential trial are currently scheduled to be held in the very city she represents. Her attorney is motioning for a change of venue due to pretrial publicity and the ongoing investigation involving local police.

If convicted, she faces a $3,000 fine and up to two years in jail. Her arraignment is now scheduled for Aug. 21.

On July 16, San Fernando councilmembers voted to hold a Nov. 6 recall election for De La Torre and Mayor Brenda Esqueda, who is also accused of having an extra-marital affair.

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