Press Statement 4/12/2021 from Attorney Traci Carrillo, Victim’s Right Attorney for Esther Lemus.
To see the full Press Statement in original .pdf format, please click this link: Press Statement 04/12/2021.
Re: Dominic Foppoli.
In response to the various requests by news media outlets, on behalf of Councilmember Esther Lemus, I provide the following statement (as well as correct some of the incorrect “timeline” information that has been reported in the media):
On Thursday morning (4/8), the San Francisco Chronicle released a news article regarding 4 women detailing horrifying sexual assault allegations against Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli.
In response to those public accusations by 4 different women, Windsor Councilmember Esther Lemus posted a Facebook statement, publicly asking Mayor Foppoli to resign as Mayor.
Shortly after that public rebuke by Councilmember Lemus, a reporter contacted her and informed her that Dominic Foppoli claimed to have a video of her and asked her if she wanted to retract her statement or if her position changed in any way. She confirmed that no, her position would not change.
Based on what we perceived as an attempt by Mayor Foppoli to extort her to change her public position about these horrific sexual accusations by 4 other women, Ms. Lemus cooperated with the Sheriff’s Office in the start of a criminal investigation on Thursday, April 8th. (To be clear, Ms. Lemus first described details of sexual abuse to law enforcement on Thursday, April 8th.)
Not only was Ms. Lemus being extorted by Mayor Foppoli but she, too, believes she was a victim of drugging and sexual assault by him. The sheriff’s department began investigating the information Ms. Lemus provided.
We believe that Mayor Foppoli would have learned in this follow up sheriff’s investigation that Ms. Lemus had provided information to them given the nature of other witnesses who would have been contacted in the investigation.
On Saturday, after the events described above, Mayor Foppoli released a statement claiming innocence and leveled his own accusations against Ms. Lemus. Ms. Lemus then publicly responded in the media and described the very private and traumatic details of the crimes she suffered. Her identity would have otherwise been protected due to strict confidentiality in the criminal investigation where she had already provided details of these sexual assaults the previous Thursday.
Mayor Foppoli’s various statements and accusations about Ms. Lemus are outrageous and a clear attempt to continue victimizing her. It’s an effort to try and “bring everyone down with him” by shaming, threatening and bullying her. More importantly, he is trying to silence her.
This is a classic response by an abusive narcissist who wants to now portray himself as a victim and deflect the public from his horrific behavior. His statement completely ignores the growing number of other women who have courageously relived and publicly shared painful memories of Mayor Foppoli’s predatory pattern of sexual abuse towards them.
Anyone who knows or has met Councilmember Lemus knows her to be a dedicated public servant whose honesty and integrity are the core of her existence. These allegations by Mayor Foppoli, who is rapidly falling from power, are a desperate attempt to deflect from his abusive conduct and, quite simply, shame the victim.
On behalf of Councilmember Lemus, we encourage all women who have been victimized by Mayor Foppoli to come forward. Sexual assault and domestic violence victims have an absolute right to confidentiality when speaking with law enforcement. In order for Mayor Foppoli to be held accountable for his predatory behavior and stop the continued victimization of women, women must be willing to talk with law enforcement. The stories made public by the multiple women, including Councilmember Lemus, are strikingly similar and show a pattern of predatory behavior that must be stopped.
If you have any questions, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (707) 595-0088. Thank you.
Very truly yours,