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Thumbnail image for Roger Hernandez.JPGA 31-year-old woman has obtained an emergency order against Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, claiming that the West Covina Democrat caused "visible injury" by striking her with a belt and slamming her against the wall during an argument last summer.

The woman "fears for her safety due to Hernandez using cocaine," according to her application for a protective order, which was signed by a judicial commissioner Sunday.

The incident marks Hernandez's second brush with the law this year. He was arrested in March on a charge of drunken driving in Concord, but later was acquitted of the charge in a jury trial.

Hernandez, through his chief of staff, characterized the incident as a personal matter and referred calls to attorney Anthony Falangetti, who said, "I can tell you flat out that all of this is a complete fabrication, it's totally bogus."

Hernandez and the woman had been involved in a relationship, but no longer are, Falangetti said. He declined to elaborate.

Asked specifically about the allegation of cocaine use, Falangetti called it "ridiculous" and "absurd." Hernandez will submit to a drug test to refute that accusation, the attorney said.

The newly issued emergency order was served Sunday on Hernandez. It will remain in effect until 5 p.m. Friday, after which the woman must decide whether to seek a temporary restraining order in court.

The emergency order requires Hernandez to stay at least 100 yards away from the woman and another female, apparently a relative because the two have the same last name, records show.

Falangetti's law partner, Joseph Weimortz Jr., cautioned that emergency protective orders are issued routinely, with no hearing before a judge. "Pretty any time an allegation is made, it's issued," he said.

Neither the alleged victim nor her attorney, Miguel Muro, would discuss circumstances surrounding the case or the nature of any relationship involving her and either Hernandez or the second female.

"At this point, (the woman) is concerned about privacy for herself and her family, so she is not making any comments," Muro said.

Falangetti also suggested the allegations are designed to hurt Hernandez at the ballot box, saying the case "doesn't pass the smell test."

The woman has filed for restraining orders in the past against two other men, Falangetti said. She "is a habitual litigant who, whenever she feels her vindictive nature coming out against someone, this is how she responds," he said.

Hernandez, 37, was assistant majority whip for the Assembly Democratic Caucus this year. He is seeking election to a second term Tuesday, running against Republcan Joe M. Gardner in Los Angeles County's 48th District.

The 31-year-old woman's push for an emergency protective order Sunday for an incident that occurred in July followed an argument between her and Hernandez at the Lazy Dog Restaurant in West Covina, according to The Tribune.

West Covina police were called to the restaurant in response to a disturbance between a boyfriend and girlfriend, the Tribune said, citing authorities.

Editor's Note: This post was updated throughout the day it was written, Oct. 30, 2012.



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