Woman accuses New York state senator of sexual misconduct

Woman accuses New York state senator of sexual misconduct
© Screengrab/NewYorkSenate.gov

A former staffer on Wednesday accused a New York state senator of forcibly kissing her in 2015.

Erica Vladimer told Huffington Post that New York Sen. Jeff Klein (D) “shoved his tongue” down her throat while she was working on his staff.

She said the incident took place when she went out for drinks with Klein, state Sen. Diane Savino (D) and several other staffers. Klein and Savino were dating at the time.

Vladimer claims Klein forced himself on her when the two stepped outside for a cigarette.

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She acknowledged to The Huffington Post that nobody else saw the alleged incident, but told a friend about it later that night.

Vladimer left her role a month later, she told The Huffington Post.

Klein, who represents parts of the Bronx and Westchester counties, held a conference call Wednesday afternoon to pre-emptively deny that the incident occurred, according to local media.

“Nobody there that night saw anything inappropriate happen because nothing did. Those are the facts. I want to make it very clear to everyone,” Klein said.

Savino also spoke during the conference call, and said she did not see any inappropriate behavior, according to Spectrum News.

Klein said he will not step down following the accusation.

Klein is the leader of the Independent Democratic Conference, a subset of Democratic state senators in New York who often vote with Republicans.

The allegations against Klein come as numerous women have come forward in recent months to allege sexual misconduct against high profile celebrities and politicians.

In 2017, Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenBill Clinton says 'norms have changed' in society for what 'you can do to somebody against their will' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump: `A very great moment in the history of the world’ Trump to hold campaign rally in Minnesota next week MORE (D-Minn.), Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersPortland activist stages ‘reparations happy hour’ Conyers III won't appear on primary ballot in race to replace his father Conyers's son in danger of missing ballot in Michigan MORE Jr. (D-Mich.), Rep. Blake FarentholdRandolph (Blake) Blake FarentholdSenators introduce bill to overhaul sexual harassment policy Freedom Caucus bruised but unbowed in GOP primary fights Five races to watch in the Texas runoffs MORE (R-Texas), Rep. Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksFreedom Caucus bruised but unbowed in GOP primary fights Eric Schneiderman and #MeToo pose challenges for both parties The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Ariz.) and several state lawmakers stepped down or announced plans to retire after being accused of sexual misconduct.