Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo pleaded not guilty Friday to a charge of misdemeanor peeking, five months after being arrested partially clothed outside a Santa Rasa woman's home.
A lawyer for Carrillo, 32, appeared before Judge Lawrence Antolini and entered the plea on his behalf. Carrillo did not attend the hearing.
Antolini set a trial for Feb. 28, but ordered both sides to try to reach a settlement and return to court Jan. 17 to report any resolution.
Carrillo's lawyer, Chris Andrian, wouldn't say whether the talks would focus on a lesser charge or a reduced punishment. Carrillo faces up to six months in jail if convicted.
"I'll hear them out. They'll hear me out. We'll see how it goes," Andrian said.
Prosecutor Cody Hunt has said he was optimistic about a pre-trial settlement. He is expected to participate in talks along with a supervisor from the state Attorney General's Office.
Meanwhile, a lawyer for the unidentified woman expressed disappointment that the process was taking so long.
"If he was truly remorseful, he would have taken responsibility by now," attorney Rosanne Darling said.
She said her client was prepared to testify. The woman has not initiated any civil action, Darling said.
"She has to take this one step at a time," Darling said.