Second woman publicly accuses Trump-backed candidate of sexual misconduct
A second woman is publicly accusing Trump-endorsed Nebraska gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster (R) of sexual misconduct after a Republican state senator alleged earlier this month that she had been touched inappropriately by Herbster.
Elizabeth Todsen, in a statement provided through her attorney, alleged that she had been sexually groped by Herbster in 2019 and said her experience had been “thoroughly described” in previous reporting by the Nebraska Examiner.
“For years I have struggled with an experience I had with Charles W. Herbster. At a political event in 2019, Herbster sexually groped me while greeting my table. This was the same night that Herbster aggressively grabbed Senator Julie Slama,” Todsen said.
“This decision to come forward with my story has been extremely difficult due to my fear of repercussions from Charles W. Herbster, a powerful voice in Nebraska politics. But after thinking about this for years now, I know that it is time that Nebraskans know about the horrible actions made by Charles W. Herbster,” she added.
Todsen called Nebraska state Sen. Julie Slama (R) “brave” and a “strong role model for all women” after Slama earlier this month confirmed to the Examiner that she had been touched inappropriately by the Nebraska gubernatorial candidate.
According to the news outlet, the 2019 incident took place during a Republican fundraiser. Todsen told the Examiner that her and other friends had been sitting at a table, which they knew had been paid for by Herbster.
When the Republican donor greeted the table, she recounted to the news outlet that “his hand went to my butt. It was a grab. At that point, I tried to push away, but I couldn’t. It was like he knew that I couldn’t say anything.”
Herbster’s campaign claimed that Todsen’s allegations were a part of a “smear attack” against him and said he denied the accusations.
“Just 10 days before the Republican Primary for Governor, Charles W. Herbster’s political opponents with ties to Governor Ricketts have launched this disgusting smear attack on him. These are the desperate tactics of a failing political campaign meant to compensate for the uninspiring and liberal candidate, Jim Pillen,” his campaign said in a statement.
“Charles W. Herbster has already filed legal action against one of the people named in reports and will be taking legal action against others. He will not stop fighting until his name is cleared and he is vindicated,” it added.
Earlier this month, eight women accused Herbster of sexual misconduct while speaking to the Examiner. The report led a bipartisan group of state senators to call for Herbster to drop out of the race.
Slama confirmed to the Examiner at the time that Herbster had touched her inappropriately at the same 2019 fundraiser after reaching up her skirt without her consent as she was walking by. Herbster’s campaign manager told the news outlet that the candidate denied those accusations.
Former President Trump is slated to stump for Herbster at a rally in Nebraska on Sunday, following a postponement due to inclement weather.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.