US: Gay Republican Carl DeMaio hit with sexual harassment claims
Republican Carl DeMaio, who was on course to become his party’s first openly gay congressman, has been accused of sexually harassing a male staffer.
DeMaio, who is running to represent California’s 52nd district in the US House of Representatives next month, has been accused of acting inappropriately towards Todd Bosnich, 28.
Mr Bosnich, who worked for DeMaio’s campaign last year, alleges that the candidate had masturbated in front of him, groped him, and kissed his neck.
The former staffer alleged of one incident when he was called to DeMaio’s office: “I came over to his office, the door was open. And he was masturbating. I saw his hand, his penis in his hand and he had a smile on his face. And as soon as I came over he was looking at me.”
He told CNN of another incident: “When he pulled up to my car, he reached over into my lap and grabbed my crotch. And I flipped out. And I pushed his hand away.
“At the time, I just figured, well, maybe he was drunk and blew it off. But he progressively and progressively, the inappropriate touching incidents continued from there.
“I just was shocked because I’d never had anyone do something like that to me, especially in a position of authority and trust.”
Mr DeMaio has dismissed the “completely false” claims, adding that Bosnich is “”clearly troubled” and has “manufactured a story” to cover for his own poor conduct after plagiarising a report.
DeMaio said: “It’s unfortunate. He’s clearly troubled. He got caught for the damage that he did to the campaign and now he’s manufacturing, in essence, a cover story to explain away his actions.”
The claims come less than a month before the midterm elections, on November 4, when DeMaio had been projected to oust Democrat Scott Peters.