Women Accuse Democratic Assemblyman Of Sexual Harassment And Assault

California State Assemblyman Matt Dababneh

He strongly denies the allegation.

Lopez said Dababneh started moving toward her and "told me to touch his genitals" in explicit terms.

Lopez on Monday filed a complaint against Dababneh with the Assembly Rules Committee, telling reporters she waited nearly two years to act out of fear of retaliation and mistrust of the legislature's system for handling sexual harassment claims.

"Just this last weekend, I met a woman who told me that her daughter is interning in Matt's office", she said.

She also credited the #MeToo campaign and the "moment of collective action" for inspiring her to come forward and name her perpetrator.

Lopez had not publicly accused Dababneh until Monday, when she formally filed a complaint with the Assembly and named him at a news conference.

"I've heard from enough women, that I am fearful and I am anxious that this will happen to others again", she said. She says her year-and-a-half there "was a constant reminder from Matt Dababneh that women were subordinate to him - in all ways".

Lopez has not filed criminal charges, but has filed a report to the Assembly Rules Committee.

Patricia Glaser, an attorney for Dababneh, sent a cease-and-desist letter to Lopez on Friday and threatened to seek damages if she went public with her allegations.

"I affirmatively deny that this event ever happened - at any time", the statement said.

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A second woman, Jessica Yas Barker, joined Lopez at Monday's news conference.

Lopez is the only woman to make a formal claim against Dababneh as a lawmaker, but others allege inappropriate conduct while he worked for Sherman from 2005-2013, including as the district chief of staff.

Sherman issued a statement saying he had no knowledge of inappropriate behavior by Dababneh and that he was "surprised and saddened" to hear that Barker felt uncomfortable while working in the office.

Lopez says Dababneh pushed her into a washroom at a common companion's wedding festivity in Las Vegas in January 2016.

A Sacramento lobbyist has accused Assemblymember Matt Dababneh of sexual assault.

Lopez's accusation come as several state and federal lawmakers are facing allegations of sexual misconduct.

"This is the kind of tactic that frequently follows when men in positions of power with great amounts of resources learn that their behavior may be exposed", she said.

"His behavior also veered into the overtly sexual. And that happens to so many women".

"Ken Cooley encouraged ladies who have been sexually pestered inside the California political group to venture forward and address the council and look for review through their procedure", Lopez said at a Monday question and answer session. "It was a terrifying experience", she wrote. "It was easy to get rid of me if somebody wanted to do that".

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