House Democrat identifies himself in suit alleging child sex abuse, denies allegations

House Democrat identifies himself in suit alleging child sex abuse, denies allegations
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A House Democrat has identified himself in a lawsuit involving claims of sexual abuse against a minor in order to deny the allegations.

Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) called the allegations "categorically untrue" through his lawyer, identifying himself as the target of a lawsuit claiming he sexually abused a 16-year-old he met at a golf tournament in 2007.

The Los Angeles reported on the lawsuit last week.

“My client is sickened and distraught by these horrific allegations, which are 100 percent, categorically untrue,” attorney Patricia Glaser told The Washington Post, saying the lawsuit is full of "baseless and reckless allegations." 

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The lawsuit, filed to the Los Angeles Superior Court last Friday, left Cárdenas unnamed, referring to him only as "John Doe" and a "public figure," in accordance with California law on child sex abuse allegations. 

Democratic House aides told the Post that Cárdenas has been calling his peers this week to assure them he is innocent. 

The lawsuit alleges that during a 2007 golf game at a Los Angeles country club, the lawmaker, who was then a member of the city council, gave the 16-year-old plaintiff a drink that did not taste like normal water. The girl later "suddenly collapsed to the ground."

He then allegedly drove her to the hospital, and allegedly fondled her in the car during the 30 to 45 minute trip. 

The girl was reportedly "frozen from shock" during the incident, and claimed she later had trouble at home and at school due to keeping the assault a secret. The plaintiff, who is now married, cited the "Me Too" movement as motivation for suing now.

The Hill has reached out to the congressman's office for comment.