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San Fernando councilwoman pleads not guilty to attacking lover

Maribel de la Torre

Alice Walton/KPCC

San Fernando City Councilwoman Maribel de la Torre pleaded not guilty to charges of battery and vandalism. She will be back in court on Sept. 20.

San Fernando City Councilwoman Maribel De La Torre pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two misdemeanors stemming from a June fight that she had with Mario Hernandez, who was also a city councilman at the time.

De La Torre is charged with one count of battery and one count of vandalism under $400 for allegedly attacking Hernandez at his home. She is expected to be back in court on Sept. 20.

At a City Council meeting last fall, Hernandez, who was married, announced that he and De La Torre were engaged in an affair. The relationship soured June 28 when the two got into a physical fight. According to a police report and restraining order, De La Torre went to Hernandez’s home, destroyed a laptop computer, then choked him while saying, “If I could kill you right now I would.”

However, in a restraining order she filed against Hernandez, De La Torre said she was the victim, accusing Hernandez of slamming her into a door and eventually knocking her unconscious.

After the two filed their dueling restraining orders, Hernandez resigned from the City Council. He, De La Torre and the city’s mayor, Brenda Esqueda, all face a November recall. 

If convicted, De La Torre faces two years in jail and a $3,000 fine.

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