Judge Dismisses Young Woman’s Sexual Assault Case Against Cardenas

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought against Rep. Tony Cardenas by a woman who alleged the San Fernando Valley lawmaker drugged and fondled her in 2007, when he was a member of the Los Angeles City Council and she was a teenager.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Steven Kleifield took the action  on Wednesday, July 3, after attorneys in the case announced a “resolution” had been reached, according to a minute order from the proceeding, which began in chambers and then moved into open court.

Cardenas took part in the open portion of the hearing via a court speaker phone, but the minute order did not divulge the terms of the resolution.

The judge also granted a request by attorney Lisa Bloom to be relieved as counsel for the plaintiff, identified only as Jane Doe in court papers.

Bloom’s law firm filed court papers in May stating that the State Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct required her withdrawal, but offered no specifics.

The judge also canceled the pending final status conference and trial, which both were scheduled for October.

“We filed a motion to withdraw based on attorney ethical rules two months ago,” Bloom told the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol via email. “Today the judge agreed with me that I was required to withdraw under the rules, and granted that motion. In addition, today the plaintiff chose to drop her case against Rep. Cardenas and he agreed not to pursue her for costs or anything else.

“Ms. Chavez has been through a difficult experience and I wish her all the best.”

Attorney Patricia Glaser, who represents Cardenas, said previously that he was “sickened and distraught by these horrific allegations, which are 100 percent, categorically untrue.”

The suit filed in April 2018 alleges Cardenas fondled Doe in January 2007, when she was 16 years old, after inviting her to play golf at the Hillcrest Country Club. Her court papers described her as a “rising star” in amateur golf at the time and said she was dubbed “the next great Latina golfer” with comparisons to Nancy Lopez and Lorena Ochoa.

During the game, Cardenas handed the plaintiff a cup of ice water that “tasted distinctly different from both tap and filtered water,” according to her court papers, which allege that she collapsed, but remained conscious, prompting him to drive her to a hospital. Along the way, however, Cardenas reached under her shirt and shorts, fondling her breast and genitals, the lawsuit alleged.

The plaintiff, now 28, resented being touched in an inappropriate way, but did not say anything to Cardenas at the time, according to her court papers.

Cardenas often drove her to golf outings and at least twice took her to speaking events at Balboa Park and one other Los Angeles venue, according to Doe’s court papers, which also stated that Cardenas would ask her to stay by his side as he spoke with constituents and attendees.