Ethics committee sanctions retiring Dem lawmaker over sexual harassment allegations

Ethics committee sanctions retiring Dem lawmaker over sexual harassment allegations
© Greg Nash

The House Ethics Committee on Friday announced that it would formally sanction Rep. Ruben KihuenRuben Jesus KihuenMembers spar over sexual harassment training deadline Nevada Dem sanctioned for sexual misconduct announces city council bid Dem gains put Sunbelt in play for 2020 MORE (D-Nev.)  over "persistent and unwanted" sexual advances towards women working for his campaign and in other roles. 

In a lengthy report, the committee found that Kihuen had made "persistent and unwanted [sexual] advances" towards women "who were required to interact with him as part of their professional responsibilities."

ADVERTISEMENT

In particular, the report noted that several women made accusations that Kihuen made unwanted physical advances and that Kihuen made comments about professionally advancing their careers.

Kihuen is also accused of suggesting to a Nevada lobbyist, through emojis in text messages, that the two make a sex tape together.

Kihuen did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Hill.

The Nevada lawmaker, who did not seek reelection in last week's midterm elections amid the accusations against him, denied the allegations last year but stated that he would step aside while blaming the claims against him on "hearsay and innuendo." 

"I want to state clearly again that I deny the allegations in question. I am committed to fully cooperating with the House Ethics Committee and I look forward to clearing my name," he said in December of 2017.

"Due process and the presumption of innocence are bedrock legal principles which have guided our nation for centuries, and they should not be lost to unsubstantiated hearsay and innuendo."