Council member charged with domestic abuse on wife

City Councilmember Ian Bain is facing criminal charges that he physically abused his wife of eight years.

Bain pleaded innocent March 6 to one misdemeanor count of domestic violence and battery against his wife, Nancy, according to San Mateo County Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Baum. Bain’s jury trial begins June 19. If convicted, he faces up to a year in jail.

The charges stem from a single incident that took place between January and March of 2005, Baum said. That incident was reported to the Redwood City Police Department by a friend of Nancy’s, who confided in her about “uncharged acts of domestic violence,” according to court papers filed April 27. After the incident, Nancy brought her children to the friend’s home and then left with them to stay in a hotel for the night.

Bain would not comment on the case Tuesday, citing the personal nature of the charges. He and Nancy were married in May of 1998, according to his Web site. She owns a private marriage and family therapy practice in Menlo Park.

The court proceedings do not currently compromise Bain’s standing on the City Council, to which he was first elected in 1998, according to Mayor Barbara Pierce. She characterized Bain as a councilman with a reputation for listening and responding to community concerns.

“It’s in the courts,” Pierce said. “We’ll deal with it later on, if we have to. The council wishes only the best for him and his family.”

Baum chose to charge Bain with a misdemeanor rather than a felony based on the extent of the injuries, Bain’s criminal history and an examination of his relationship with his wife.

“This charge does allow us to allege other violations, and none are alleged here,” Baum said, indicating that this appears to have been an isolated alleged incident, rather than a larger pattern of abuse.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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