When Dominic Foppoli announced he would step down as mayor of Windsor in May, he did so amid a growing number of sexual assault and misconduct allegations made public by nine women.
At least two other women have since come to law enforcement with related claims against Foppoli in Sonoma County, local officials and a women’s lawyer told The Press Democrat on Wednesday.
The revelation came hours after Sonoma County Sheriff’s detectives completed their search for evidence at his Windsor home. This was the first warrant served in a seven-month investigation opened by Sheriff Mark Essick following an April 8 San Francisco Chronicle article with the accounts of four women who said they were assaulted or abused by Foppoli .
Foppoli denied committing sex crimes and maintained he was innocent of the allegations made against him.
Here’s a brief look at Foppoli’s background, major developments in the scandal that sparked his political downfall, and what we know at this point about two criminal investigations against him:
- Foppoli, 39, is the son of a wealthy local wine-making family and part-owner of Christopher Creek Winery outside of Healdsburg. His brother, Joe Foppoli, told outraged Windsor residents in April that the then mayor would step down from the business.
- Foppoli was first elected to Windsor council in 2014 and in 2020 became the city’s first directly elected mayor after being appointed mayor for two years.
- The allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against him date back to 2002 and span his career in elected office until April 2021. The allegations against him include rape, groping and forced oral copulation .
- Women who have publicly reported on their accounts include a former wine intern, a guest at his Christopher Creek winery, a longtime ex-girlfriend and Windsor City Councilor Esther Lemus, who told reporters Democrat Foppoli used intoxicants to facilitate sex with her without her consent. .
- For more than six weeks, Foppoli has refused to bow to widespread demands from his constituents and fellow lawmakers to step down. His May 21 resignation announcement came after reality TV star Farrah Abraham’s allegations became public. Abraham filed a police report on April 2 accusing Foppoli of sexual assault.
- Foppoli is also the subject of two investigations by the California Fair Political Practices Commission for allegations of political misconduct. Those inquiries focus on his vote on Windsor Town Green and allegations he mis-reported or spent campaign funds.
- The Foppoli family owns a thousand-year-old castle 120 km northeast of Milan in the town of Mazzo de Valtellini. On Wednesday, a tenant at Foppoli’s house in Windsor said Foppoli had told him he would be in Italy for “several months”. Local authorities said they did not know his whereabouts.