Washington [US], March 20 (ANI): A former lobbyist in the United States on Friday accused GOP Representative Tom Reed of sexual misconduct.
Nicolette Davis, a second lieutenant in the US Army of Fort Sill, Okla, told the Washington Post, that when she was on her first networking trip as a junior lobbyist for an insurance company, she felt the 45-year-old congressman's hand on her back. Davis was 25 at that time.
"A drunk congressman is rubbing my back," she texted a friend and co-worker at Aflac that evening in 2017, adding later, "HELP HELP."
Davis also said that Reed had moved his hand to her thigh, following which she asked the person sitting to her right for help, who promptly pulling the congressman away from the table and out of the restaurant.
"This account of my actions is not accurate," said Reed in a statement provided by his office, in response to a detailed list of questions, Washington Post reported.
Davis's account comes at a time when Reed is considering a run against New York Andrew Cuomo is facing calls to resign after multiple women have accused him of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour.
Reed has repeatedly promised to combat sexual violence and harassment as one of his priorities in Congress and has also called for Cuomo to be impeached.
"These incidents of sexual harassment and pattern of abuse are abhorrent and have absolutely no place in our society, let alone the highest rungs of government. Such behaviour is disturbing and unacceptable," said Reed, after a second Cuomo aide accused him of harassment.
Reed and two other House Republicans from New York, Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin, had said they are contemplating bids to challenge Cuomo.
"I need to always act in good conscience and set the right example for the soldiers I will lead, including younger females. I hope it will allow people who have endured similar experiences to feel confident enough to say something," said Davis on her decision to speak out.
Meanwhile, Davis's account of Reed's actions in 2017 was supported by a person who was at the table that night.
The person told The Post that Reed was visibly intoxicated and put his hand on Davis's back before being escorted from the restaurant while the rest of the group remained.
Washington Post reported that Davis had filed a complaint accusing a military recruiter of making unwanted sexual advances, although an Army review "did not substantiate findings" of sexual harassment. The accused service member was not allowed to continue working as a recruiter, according to an August 2020 letter from the US Army to Senator Tammy Duckworth.
Brad Knox, senior vice president at Aflac, a US insurance company, said he recalled Davis telling him that Reed had been drinking and unbuttoned or unzipped an article of her clothing.
Since his election to Congress in 2010, Reed has been outspoken on issues of sexual misconduct.
When the #MeToo movement gained traction in late 2017, Reed rallied behind a House resolution that required lawmakers and staff to undergo training to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
Reed backed bipartisan legislation in 2018, which passed by unanimous consent, that required lawmakers to be personally liable for settlements with staffers who alleged harassment, reported Washington Post. (ANI)