California state lawmaker accused of sexual harassment

California Assemblyman Matt Dababneh speaks in Sacramento

California Assemblyman Matt Dababneh speaks in Sacramento

Sacramento lobbyist Pamela Lopez said in a Sacramento news conference that Dababneh pushed her into a bathroom during a 2016 party at a Las Vegas hotel and masturbated in front of her. "I had no reason to think I was unsafe".

Dabaneh, 36, strongly denied the allegations. He said he looks forward to clearing his name.

At Monday's press conference, another woman, Jessica Yas Barker, alleged that Dababneh had harassed her and other employees while she was working for him in 2008 in the state office of Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.). Senate leaders stripped Sen.

"As terrifying as it is, it's my job to do everything that I can do so that other women and other allies can do everything that they can do", she said.

Dababneh's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lopez's attorney, Leslie F. Levy, hit back with her own letter, warning that any defamation suit brought by Dababneh would lead to extensive discovery into his reputation around the Capitol.

Lopez initially declined to name Dababneh when she described the encounter to Capital Public Radio and others earlier this fall.

Lopez, 35, first shared her story with reporters soon after the October launch of the anti-sexual harassment "We Said Enough" campaign.

Lobbyist Pamela Lopez
Lobbyist Pamela Lopez

A Sacramento lobbyist who weeks ago told reporters that an unnamed current lawmaker trapped her in a bathroom past year and exposed himself has waited to name names - until now.

Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, D-Van Nuys, has been accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment. His most recent campaign finance report showed the assemblyman with nearly $1.1 million cash on hand.

She also credited the #MeToo campaign and the "moment of collective action" for inspiring her to come forward and name her perpetrator. She said she has not filed a report with police.

Dababneh now represents California's 45th Assembly District, covering much of the San Fernando Valley in Southern California. "So, that the legislator can work on helping us finding safety in our workplaces and help us find some justice", Lopez said.

Lopez lawyer Jean Hyams said her client's complaint "is really a test of the legislature's system".

Assemblyman Ken Cooley, chair of the Rules Committee, which oversees harassment investigations, issued a statement saying he is "grateful" Lopez came forward and said the Assembly will hire an outside investigator to review the allegation. She told the NYT she was "fearful of being retaliated against".

Glaser's cease-and-desist letter is posted below.

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