Lame Duck SB Councilman Jenkins Pleads Not Guilty

(December 17)  RIVERSIDE—San Bernardino Second Ward Councilman Robert Jenkins pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to the thirty criminal charges lodged against him by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
On October 17, Jenkins was charged with 18 felonies and 12 misdemeanors pertaining to his use of the internet to place several personal advertisements on Craigslist seeking sex liaisons and then diverting responses to those ads to his one-time boyfriend or the man whom Jenkins is alleged to have believed his former boyfriend to be involved with, as well as with forging a San Bernardino Police Department internal memorandum. Jenkins is represented by attorney Virginia Blumenthal, who has consistently proclaimed her client’s innocence, as well as by attorney Jeff Moore.
Blumenthal previously suggested Jenkins, who once hid but now openly acknowledges his homosexuality, was set up by his former lover, who had a key to his home and access to his computer.
But the Riverside District Attorney’s Office says evidence churned up during the course of its investigation contradicts that version of events. Investigators traced the online ads to Jenkins directly at locations beyond his home, linking the postings, through IP, or Internet protocol, addresses at his workplace at the Riverside Office of Education and the home of his relatives, where his former boyfriend had no access.
Moreover, the forged San Bernardino Police Department memorandum was conclusively shown to be the handiwork of Jenkins, investigators insist. Jenkins is said to have relied upon his access, as a city councilman, to materials unavailable to the two alleged victims in the case. The forged memorandum utilized the names of two department employees, Sgt. Tom Bielaszka and Lt. Dario Robinson, along with police department seals. The memorandum was intended to make it appear that Jenkins had also been a victim of online harassment, according to the district attorney’s office.
Jenkins, who avoided arrest and being taken into custody when Blumenthal arranged for a bondsman to post $25,000 bail on Jenkin’s behalf through the court on the day he was charged, was nevertheless hurt by the negative publicity surrounding the affair. On November 5, Jenkins failed in his reelection attempt, losing to his only opponent in the race, Benito Barrios. Jenkins will remain in office until March, when Barrios is to be sworn in.

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