- Two women have publicly accused Democratic Assemblyman Matt Dababneh of sexual misconduct.
- One of the women, Pamela Lopez, alleged that Dababneh locked her into a bathroom during a wedding celebration in Las Vegas and masturbated in front of her.
- Dababneh denied all allegations, but said he is resigning anyway because he no longer believes he can serve California’s 45th district effectively.
Earlier this week, California-based lobbyist Pamela Lopez accused Democratic Assemblyman Matt Dababneh of forcing her into a bathroom, exposing his genitals, and urging her to touch him.
Another woman, Jessica Yas Barker, alleged Dababneh repeatedly commented on her appearance and talked about his sexual exploits while they were colleagues in Sherman’s office from June 2009 to December 2010, the LA Times reported.
Dababneh, who represented the California State Assembly’s 45th district and previously worked as a senior aide to Congressman Brad Sherman, has flatly denied the allegations.
He nevertheless announced on Friday that he would resign, effective on January 1.
“To be absolutely clear, the allegations made against me are not true. However, due to the current environment, I, unfortunately, no longer believe I can serve my district effectively, as I have done for the last four years,” Dababneh said. “I remain inspired by the many brave women across the country who have recently come forward with their stories. I will continue to support this fight as a private citizen in any way that I can.”
He said he will continue to fully participate in an ongoing Assembly investigation into the matter.
“I am confident that the completed investigation will bring to light and into focus the significant and persuasive evidence of my innocence,” Dababneh said.
The incident described by Lopez allegedly took place in January 2016 at a wedding celebration at a Las Vegas hotel.
“I felt a large body rush up behind me, use the weight of their body to push me into the restroom and I heard the door slam behind us,” Lopez told KTLA News, a Los Angeles-area local news station. “I spun around and realised I was face to face with Matt and that he had very quickly exposed himself and begun masturbating.”
Lopez said she did not immediately report the encounter, fearing retribution. She said Friday that Dababneh’s resignation meant little without an apology.
“He’s not attempting to atone for his behaviour,” she told the Associated Press.
Read Dababneh’s full resignation letter here.
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