Photo: Victor Valladares/Facebook
Joe Biden isn’t the only Democrat whose bad behavior toward women is being ignored by his own party. As we’ve seen, Democrats only believe in #MeToo when the accused is a Republican. They’ll perform all kinds of mental gymnastics to excuse bad behavior on their own side and blame the victim.
Victor Valladares, who currently serves as a Vice-Chair of the Orange County Democrat Party and worked on the campaign of Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach), faces serious sexual assault and physical abuse allegations, has a criminal record including multiple DUI convictions and a robbery charge, and has repeatedly been held in contempt of court for failing to pay child support. He even has pending criminal charges set to be heard in late June. Yet despite seeing evidence in the form of court records and hearing directly from the victim, many in the party are still supporting him – and attacking the victim.
As for Valladares, he blames the controversy on the “alt-right” and people making unfair judgments of him because he’s Latino.
The sexual assault and physical abuse allegations were made by Valladares’ ex-wife and the mother of his children, Breannia Lalama, who has filed numerous domestic violence restraining orders since 2013. In a report filed June 24, 2013, Lalama testified under oath (emphasis added):
“About two days after last Halloween, he was drunk again and got mad at me and in front of his two sisters, now 21 and 17 years old. He said to me he would cut my throat and watch me bleed out quicker than the cops could come to save me. He has thrown my kitten off a two-story balcony and his sister also witnessed that.
“He got naked and was begging me to sleep with him. I told him no, over and over again, he started to get mad, I had my car keys in my hand with my finger in the loop. He grabbed my wrist and twisted it and started ripping the keys out of my hand. I started hitting him to let go of me but he just got stronger. After he got the keys he said that I wasn’t going to leave and demanded me to get his clothes for him. I told him to get them himself and that’s when he made a fist and made a gesture that he was going to hit me. I jumped up and ran for the door and he jumped up and grab my arm and pulled me back.
“He has abused me verbally for over four years. Has called me a fat whore, a nasty bitch that is nothing but a nasty slut, a whore, c**t, bitch and many more things. He has threatened to kill my father in front of people.
“He put his forearm on my neck and told me I better tell him everything as he was pushing down with his forearm on my throat.
“He has made many threats to me all while he is under the influence of beer. He has said he will never stop drinking and has been drinking for six years plus. He has a bad drinking problem. I get scared when he is intoxicated because he is mentally unstable and I don’t know what he’s capable of.
“He drinks every day and heavily and gets mad if I don’t have sex with him.”
Sadly, Valladares wasn’t all talk and no action. Lalama says she was subjected to physical and sexual assaults that were humiliating and left her with permanent physical damage:
“Breannia Lalama has asserted that Victor Valladares slipped a “Date-Rape” drug into her beer, sodomized her after she passed out, filmed the event, then showed her the film the following day.
“Lalama (former wife) asserts that Victor Valladares pushed her backwards down a flight of pea gravel stairs at an apartment they shared, resulting in permanent damage to her back. The medical files exist to substantiate the claim.
“She asserts that Victor Valladares smashed her in the face with a coffee cup, breaking her teeth.”
By 2017 Valladares had become heavily involved in Orange County politics and was an elected member of the Central Committee. As his stature in the party increased, so did interest in his past, which wasn’t kept all that secret since he was in and out of family court. A local political blog posted the information from the 2013 domestic violence incident referenced above, and Valladares (shocker) claimed Lalama was lying. Breannia replied on Facebook, stating that she was not involved in the publication of the article and confirming the authenticity of what was contained therein.
She wrote, in part:
I made those statements because I feared for my life after I was sexually, physically and verbally attacked by Victor Valladares.
I sought protection for my safety from the courts.
He had physically, sexually and verbally attacked me many times before I sought a divorce, but I was too scared to report him because he threatened that if I did he would harm me or my family members. That is also the reason I chose to drop the case, because of my fear of him.
This same fear prevented me from speaking out about his violence and abuse then and now.
After seeing what he wrote about me calling me a liar, and also watching the many other women today bravely speaking about their abusive situations, I want to finally come out and tell my story.
I am ashamed to admit that I was abused for years by Victor Valladares and I have the injuries to prove it. I am speaking for myself because I am tired of his abusive attacks and lies and I won’t be bullied by him anymore.
In the lengthy post, Lalama said Valladares retaliates when she stands up for herself, including getting her fired from a job.
At the time Valladares was working closely with Ocean View School Board member Gina Clayton-Tarvin. Lalama became aware that Valladares had listed Tarvin (whom Lalama did not know) as a potential witness against her in their ongoing family court hearings. On November 14, 2017, Lalama addressed the Ocean View School District board:
[She] bravely recounted her experiences being physically, sexually and verbally assaulted by Valladares and mentioning Tarvin’s unusual relationship with her ex-husband, including the fact that she was listed as a potential character witness against her in a custody hearing, and that Valladares had said that Tarvin would be watching his kids during one of his custody periods when he was out of town, instead of simply returning them to their mother.
Watch Lalama speak:
Tarvin’s response was despicable. She essentially called Lalama a liar and characterized any criticism of herself as partisan. She said:
“Lastly I’d just like to say that there was a lot of spirited public comments, and while I appreciate the um, willingness of people to come forward and speak, unfortunately sometimes what they say is untrue. And um, I deny what was said about me, it’s just flat just not true.
“And it’s unfortunate that I have become a target in this town just for the mere fact that I’m a Democrat. And I think that many of you probably heard, that many of the speakers came and said the word Democrat. You probably heard that. There were like 4 of them that said it. Democrat. Democrat. Democrat. Democrat. Liberal, union, you hear there’s a theme.
What happened to #BelieveAllWomen? A woman and mother tearfully shared her experiences in an abusive marriage – experiences that are documented in statements given under oath – and all Tarvin could say is that “sometimes what they say is untrue”?
A handful of DPOC central committee members believed the allegations against Valladares were serious enough to warrant investigation and could lead to ousting Valladares from his position, but, for the most part, Orange County Democrats have behaved the way national Democrats have when it comes to allegations of misogyny against politicians who say all the right things: ignore if possible, or deflect and attack the accuser.
Fast forward to 2020. For the most part, the party has ignored Valladares’ past and his pending criminal charges, but a movement to oust him from party leadership is quickly gaining steam. Influential central committee members, including Raymond Cordova, who worked with Cesar Chavez, have called upon Valladares to resign. His defenders, including county chair Ada Briceno and Rouda’s campaign manager Alyssa Napuri, are still by his side. Why?
The entire country is watching as Democrats, particularly female Democrats, effectively cancel the #MeToo movement by their hypocrisy. It’s looking like Democrats in Orange County, California, home of the “Blue Wave,” are poised to follow in the footsteps of Biden’s cringeworthy apologists while a woman, a mother of young children, who took the courageous step to go public with her story of abuse, sits home waiting for the inevitable retribution her abuser will mete out.