State rep’s daughter charged in attack on challenger

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CHICAGO -- Two people charged in an attack on a state representative candidate earlier this month appeared in court today.


26-year-old Jessica Soto and her boyfriend Bradley Fichter are both charged with multiple counts of felony aggravated battery.  Fichter is also charged with disorderly conduct for filing a false report.

During the alleged attack on March 6th,    Robert Zwolinski  says he remembers hearing someone tell him, “This is not your territory.  This is Soto’s territory.”

Zwolinski was running against incumbent State Representative Cynthia Soto in the democratic primary for the 4th District.

He says the altercation started after he spotted people putting up Soto’s campaign signs near his office in the 800 block of North Ashland and he got out of his car, he says, and asked them what they were doing.  Prosecutors say  Soto’s daughter physically beat Zwolinski with a beer bottle and then put a staple in his head.


Robert Zwolinski

Zwolinski posted a picture of his bloodied face on Twitter.

Frank Avila, the attorney representing Jessica Soto says she was not involved in the fight.
Avila says Zwolinski was the aggressor, tore down Soto’s signs and exaggerated the story to try to give his campaign some publicity.

Zwolinski ended up losing the primary by a 4-to-1 margin.

Bond was set at $25,000 a piece for Soto and Fichter. They are expected to be released tonight after posting the required ten percent.

A judge called this case an embarrassment to the entire country.

State Rep. Cynthia Soto did not attend the court hearing today.