US: Republican Carl DeMaio hit with more sexual harassment claims
Republican Carl DeMaio – who was on track to become the party’s first ever openly gay congressman – has been hit with allegations of sexual harassment from a second man.
Mr DeMaio, who is running to represent California’s 52nd district in the US House of Representatives, was previously 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 candidate rebuffed the claims, and the Republican party continued to back him – but now a second former member of his staff has made allegations against him.
25-year-old Navy veteran Justin Harper, who was hired by the DeMaio campaign as a regional policy director in March – says he quit his job in July, after an incident in the toilets.
Mr Harper told KPBS of the alleged incident: “I was at the urinal, and [DeMaio] came from the stall that was closest to the urinal and was kind of just standing there hovering.
“I turned around and realized that it was Carl. He had his pants up, but his fly was undone, and he had his hand grasping his genitals.”
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“I just walked out. I didn’t say anything to him, I just left.
“I honestly thought it happened once to me, and it was a mistake, but since it happened to Todd, I really don’t know who else it happened to”
The DeMaio campaign launched an attack on the reporter who broke the story, saying: “Reporters with journalistic integrity have dismissed these false smears because they’ve been peddled by the same people fired from the campaign months ago – and the District Attorney dismissed these false allegations weeks ago.
“KPBS is reckless in reporting this outrageous lie because our office has not even had a urinal to use – a fact confirmed to KPBS by our landlord.”
Despite the claim, KPBS contacted Babies First Ultrasound – which operates in the same office block as DeMaio – and confirmed there is indeed a working urinal in the building.
Mr Harper’s allegations have never been brought to the District Attorney – and emails confirm he quit the campaign voluntarily citing education commitments, and was not “fired”.