Report: Third Woman Accuses Republican Lawmaker Of Sexual Harassment
A Michigan state lawmaker accused of sexual harassment by two women in the past two weeks now faces similar allegations from a third woman, according to The Associate Press.
Melissa Osborn, a regulatory affairs specialist for a trade group, joined Michigan Advance reporter Allison Donahue and Democratic state Senator Mallory McMorrow in accusing Republican state Senator Peter Lucido of inappropriate conduct.
Osborn told Crain's Detroit Business that Lucido made comments about her appearance and clothes as he touched an area she described as “my lower back/upper butt,” while also scanning her body up and down. She said the incident occurred at the Michigan Credit Union League's annual government affairs conference last May.
The AP said Lucido did not immediately return its messages and previously declined comment to Crain’s, saying, "I've got no comment for you because I've got no comment. Is that OK?”
Osborn’s story was similar to McMorrow’s, who said the Republican touched her inappropriately and commented on her looks during a training session just two days after she won her election in November 2018.
According to Buzzfeed News, McMorrow filed a complaint earlier this month with the Michigan State Business Office, alleging that the incident occurred when she met Lucido for the first time while the two attended a sexual harassment training.
"He reached out to shake my hand and with the other hand, held very low on my back, with fingers grazing my hip and upper rear,” the freshman lawmaker said in her complaint.
After engaging in a "bit of back and forth” about who she was and where she was from, Lucido asked McMorrow who she had defeated to win her seat. When she said she had bested former Republican Sen. Marty Knollenberg, Lucido allegedly looked McMorrow up and down, "raised his eyebrows, and said, 'I can see why.'"
"In that moment, my heart sank. I felt clenched and small. In that moment, this man looked at me with little interest to my background or experience, and I felt nothing more than an object," McMorrow said. "The implication, clearly, was 'you won because of what you look like.'"
Her complaint against Lucido followed the incident with Donahue, which garnered national attention after the reporter claimed that the lawmaker told her a group of high school boys “could have a lot of fun with her.”
Donahue said she was asking Lucido for interview when he made the comment, as he stood with a group of about 20 students from his alma mater, De La Salle Collegiate.
When Lucido asked if she had heard of the school and she replied that she had not, Donahue said the lawmaker responded: "It's an all-boys school. You should hang around. You could have a lot of fun with these boys, or they could have a lot of fun with you.”
Donahue later confronted the Republican over his remarks after she had finished asking him questions. The story then went viral, Buzzfeed noted.
Lucido eventually apologized for what he called a “misunderstanding,” but then claimed he had been misquoted.
According to the AP, Lucido is far from alone when it comes to lawmakers facing sexual harassment allegations: “The AP has tallied about 100 state lawmakers across the country who have been publicly accused of sexual misconduct or harassment since January 2017.”