Prosecutors and a lawyer for Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo met in private talks again Wednesday but were unable to reach agreement on terms of a settlement in his peeking case.
The continued impasse over Carrillo's misdemeanor charge comes as his scheduled April 18 trial looms less than a month away.
But despite courtroom discussions about evidence and witness lists, the second-term supervisor is not expected to take his case before a jury.
His lawyer, Chris Andrian, said plea negotiations would go on as the date approaches.
"I'm certainly not going to say that it won't be resolved, but I am preparing for trial," Andrian said outside court.
Andrian wouldn't disclose details of the talks so far, saying only that both sides were "working on appropriate consequences" if he does settle.
Prosecutor Cody Hunt also wouldn't reveal any sticking point in the bargaining. Peeking, which is defined as looking into an inhabited dwelling, carries a maximum six-month jail sentence.
The legal machinations came about seven months after Carrillo's pre-dawn arrest July 13 outside a Santa Rosa woman's home.
Police responded to a pair of 911 calls from the woman and discovered Carrillo nearby dressed in only his underwear and socks and carrying a cellphone. Officers believed he was attempting a sexual assault, pointing to a torn window screen.
But Carrillo, who blamed drinking for his behavior, was charged instead with peeking. Prosecutors said there was no evidence of more serious offenses that could lead to his removal from office.
Hunt, Andrian and a supervising prosecutor for the state attorney general met privately with Judge Arnold Rosenfield for 35minutes Wednesday. It was the second such meeting with Rosenfield.
"Negotiations haven't been real fruitful thus far," Hunt said in a court hallway.
Rosenfield echoed the lack of progress. He said he made a suggestion to the parties that they could follow "as a possible road to resolution," but he did not elaborate.
The pressure on Carrillo's team to make a deal is considerable, Sonoma State University political science professor David McCuan said.
"The political peril is having the victim on the stand talking definitively about what happened that night," he said. "That is beyond bad politics."
Carrillo, who turns 33 today, has made strides to rehabilitate himself in the community and has fought off calls for him to resign or be recalled, McCuan said.
"All of that goes sideways if there is a trial," he said.
Carrillo did not return a call for comment on Wednesday's proceedings or the prospect of a trial.
On Wednesday, his lawyer announced trial witnesses could include the property manager of the complex near Stony Point Road and West Third Street where Carrillo was arrested.
A trial readiness hearing is set for April 16.
You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or email@example.com.