May 4, 2016
A divorce court hearing on allegations of domestic violence made against congressional candidate and state Assemblyman Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) was postponed Wednesday until later this month.
A temporary restraining order barring the Democrat from contacting his estranged wife, Baldwin Park City Councilwoman Susan Rubio, remains in place until the next court hearing.
Rubio has alleged that Hernandez, who is challenging Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Norwalk) in the June 7 primary, repeatedly assaulted and abused her after they were married in June 2013.
In court papers she said Hernandez had a pattern of violent behavior that included “pushing, shoving, hitting and choking” her. She alleged several specific incidents .
Rubio said that after an April 5 divorce hearing, an enraged Hernandez “aggressively” approached her and began shouting in her face.
Rubio’s lawyers planned to call at least five witnesses to testify Wednesday but the hearing was continued because Hernandez retained a new lawyer this week.
The witnesses include Rubio’s sister Blanca Rubio and former Baldwin Park Police Capt. David Reynoso.
Susan Rubio’s lawyer Crystal Boultinghouse said Reynoso responded to one of the alleged incidents. The allegation is that Hernandez grabbed Rubio “out of bed by the arm” and injured her back. In a court decleration, Rubio said the assemblyman took her phone battery to prevent her from calling the police. Eventually, Rubio’s sister and Reynoso arrived and Hernandez was forced to let his wife go to the hospital, Boultinghouse said.
Hernandez attended the hearing but declined to comment through his lawyer Donald Schweitzer, who called the allegations false and accused Rubio of making them up to harm his client’s political career.
Blanca Rubio, who is running for Hernandez’s assembly seat, denied the charges have anything to do with politics.
“I don’t care about my campaign. I care about my sister, she said. “This is about what happens to her and other women. This has nothing to do with anything other than domestic violence.”
Susan Rubio gave a brief statement after the hearing, declining to answer any further questions.
“If I don’t [speak up], what chance do women with less support have?” she said. “If my humiliation can encourage other women to speak up then it’s worth the humiliation that I will continue to go through publicly.”
The next hearing is scheduled for May 25 — two weeks before the June primary.