ENCINITAS — A North County woman who falsely accused former State Assembly candidate Phil Graham of groping and forcibly kissing her now faces criminal charges stemming from her claims.
According to Superior Court records obtained by The Coast News, the District Attorney’s office has charged Nichole Burgan with misdemeanor filing of a false police report stemming from the claims made during the lead up to the June 5 primary election.
Graham, who failed to advance to the Nov. 6 general election after finishing in third place during the primary, is the stepson of former California Gov. Pete Wilson.
Burgan said that Graham forcibly kissed her during the early morning hours of May 14 after a night of drinking at the 1st Street Bar in Encinitas.
But variations in her story to different media outlets and a series of restraining orders filed against Burgan in the past that accused her of filing false reports raised doubts about the veracity of her claims.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department investigated and disproved the claims after reviewing video surveillance inside and outside of the bar and interviewing several witnesses.
Records show that charges were filed against Burgan June 14, and she was arraigned on July 3 and charged with a single misdemeanor count of filing a false report, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
The criminal complaint alleges that Burgan, on or about and between May 20 and May 23 “did unlawfully report to a peace officer that a misdemeanor had been committed, knowing such report to be false.”
She is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 10 for a readiness conference and a trial date is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 31 at the Superior Court’s North County courthouse.
The District Attorney’s office declined to comment, citing the pending criminal proceedings.
Burgan is being represented by the San Diego County Public Defender. The Coast News reached out to Deputy Public Defender Peter Tran, who is handling the case, and will update the story with comment from Tran when we receive it.
The Coast News also reached out to Graham’s campaign manager Mike Foster, who said that Graham “didn’t push for charges” to be filed against Burgan.
Foster said he would provide a statement from Graham before print publication.