A young woman who alleges Rep. Tony Cardenas drugged and fondled her when she was 16 years old in 2007 — when Cardenas was a Los Angeles Councilman — won a round in court Thursday when a judge ruled she can amend her complaint to add new facts and an allegation of negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Steven Kleifield granted the motion after hearing arguments from lawyers for plaintiff Jane Doe and Cardenas.
The suit was filed April 27, but Cardenas was not named as the defendant until the woman’s lawyers obtained the proper court order. They stated in their new papers that the new facts represent information that could not be put in the original complaint because readers could have inferred the defendant was Cardenas.
Cardnenas’ attorneys argued in their court papers that Doe’s lawyers knew of the new facts when the case was filed and that she was trying to update her complaint a month after giving her deposition.
“There is no reasonable excuse for this delay,” Cardenas’ lawyers stated in their court papers.
The politician’s attorneys maintained in their court papers that Doe should only be allowed to amend her complaint if she agreed to be deposed again on a limited basis, but Doe’s lawyers argued in their documents that Cardenas was prevented by statute from deposing Doe again.
Attorney Patricia Glaser, who represents Cardenas, said previously that the congressman “is sickened and distraught by these horrific allegations, which are 100 percent, categorically untrue.”
In documents filed in August, the plaintiff’s lawyers describe their client 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.
“Mr. Cardenas wanted to be a part of Ms. Doe’s world,” the woman’s attorneys stated in their 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, the woman’s attorneys state in their court papers. Cardenas asked the woman to stay by his side as he spoke with constituents and attendees, according to the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ court papers.
“A few times people remarked that Ms. Doe looked like Ms. Cardenas’ daughter,” the plaintiff’s attorneys’ court papers stated. “At least two times, people mistakenly believed and remarked that Ms. Doe was Mr. Cardenas’ daughter.”
In a footnote in the court papers, the woman’s lawyers state that then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa “also mistakenly thought Ms. Doe was Mr. Cardenas’ daughter when he met Ms. Doe at Sylmar High School when Mr. Cardenas was not present.”
The lawyers also state in their court papers that Cardenas, a Panorama City Democrat, helped the plaintiff’s family move from a mobile home into a spacious residence on a large San Fernando Valley lot.
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