Assemblyman Roger Hernandez won't face domestic violence charges
Prosecutors have decided not to file domestic violence charges against state Assemblyman Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina), saying there is insufficient evidence to back a former girlfriend’s allegations she was physically abused by the lawmaker, officials said Wednesday.
Hernandez also has filed court papers denying allegations in a separate civil lawsuit by Carolina Taillon that he whipped her with a belt and bragged about using cocaine.
The decision by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office stems from an incident in October when Hernandez and Taillon got into a loud argument at the Lazy Dog Cafe in West Covina. The D.A.’s report said Hernandez said during the argument that "he was going to call police about (Taillon) threatening a member of the state Assembly." Instead, Taillon called the police, "considering the comment as a threat to her."
Taillon told the responding officers Hernandez had assaulted her on two separate occasions in July, "once 'whipping her with his belt' as he is the 'Assembly Majority Whip,' " said the report by Deputy Dist. Atty. Manuel Garcia Jr.
In rejecting the case, Garcia said there were no independent witnesses to the two alleged assaults, Hernandez did not admit to the allegations, Taillon was late in reporting them and she was arrested in 2002 on domestic violence allegations, "creating possibility of self-defense claim."
The decision was welcomed by Aldo A. Flores, an attorney for Hernandez. He predicted the same result in the civil case filed by high-profile attorney Gloria Allred. "We believe it's frivolous and we will make short work of it," Flores said of the civil suit.
The lawsuit alleges that on one occasion, Hernandez told Taillon "that the Speaker of the Assembly had called a medical team to come to the building because defendant Hernandez felt like he was going to die after using cocaine."
Flores said there was a medical incident in which Hernandez sought treatment from a nurse working at the Capitol, but it had nothing to do with drugs. "That was from exhaustion," Flores said. "He works very hard."
--Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: Assemblyman Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina). Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press