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PD Editorial: The disturbing facts about Efren Carrillo's arrest

  • 9/20/2012: A1:

    PC: Efren Carrillo spoke at the beginning of Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting about his trip to Russia.

That Supervisor Efren Carrillo has checked himself into a treatment facility to get help for an apparent drinking problem is an encouraging development. And if this was his response to a case of simple public intoxication, not much more would need to be said.

But that is not the situation. There are troubling aspects to this case involving Carrillo's arrest — his second in less than a year — that go beyond alcohol abuse.

Police say Carrillo was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of burglary and prowling. They detained him after a woman in the area of Stony Point Road and West Third Street in Santa Rosa called 911 at 3:40 a.m. reporting that someone tried to break into her home through a bedroom window.

Efren Carrillo In Court

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Police say the sounds of window blinds being moved woke her. They say the bedroom window screen had been torn, and the window was open enough for someone to reach through.

The woman was obviously frightened enough by the intrusion that she called 911 — twice. The second time was after the person outside knocked on the front door, identified himself as a neighbor and ran off.

These facts alone are disturbing. That it was a Sonoma County supervisor who was later identified as the would-be intruder — and that he was found wearing nothing but underwear and socks — makes the story all the more unnerving.

Carrillo was arrested on suspicion of burglary and prowling, but police have gone so far as to say they believe his intent was to commit some type of sexual assault.

The woman, who said she knew Carrillo informally from around the neighborhood, has not been identified because, police say, the case "contained the elements of attempted sexual assault."

What those elements are will no doubt be evaluated at length in the days to come as Napa County prosecutors, who will be handling prosecution under the attorney general's oversight, decide whether to pursue felony charges against Carrillo.

We hope these charges are not true. In terms of policy, Carrillo, 32, has shown himself to be a thoughtful, articulate elected official with a promising future. But at this point, we're far less concerned about Carrillo's political career than the well-being of a woman who was no doubt left traumatized by the events of early Saturday.


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