California Dem steps down after sexual harassment allegations

California Dem steps down after sexual harassment allegations
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The Democratic majority whip of the California State Assembly on Monday announced that he will immediately resign following allegations of sexual harassment.

In a statement posted to his Facebook page, Raul Bocanegra said he has decided to resign "effective immediately" instead of waiting until September of 2018, as he had originally announced.

“Upon further reflection during the recent holiday weekend, and conversations with family, friends, supporters, I have decided to resign earlier from the State Assembly effective immediately, which was my original intention,” Bocanegra said in the statement.

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Bocanegra cited "persistent rumors" of sexual misconduct in a statement last week to the Los Angeles Times in which he initially announced his plans to resign. 

The Times earlier this month said it had contacted Bocanegra's office in reporting a story about six women who claimed they had been sexually harassed by the state lawmaker.

Bocanegra in his statement to the newspaper said he had asked California’s Assembly Rules Committee to investigate the allegations.

On Monday, Bocanegra denied that he is guilty of such crimes but said he is “admittedly not perfect.”

“I sincerely hope that my decision to resign immediately does not embolden those who are using this serious problem in our society to advance their own personal political gain, rather it is my hope that this action can instead help to widen the doors for victims of sexual assault and workplace harassment to find justice and solace,” he said.