- Michigan Sen. Peter Lucido came under fire last week for telling a female reporter that a group of high school boys could “have a lot of fun” with her.
- Fellow state Sen. Mallory McMorrow filed a sexual harassment complaint against Lucindo on Tuesday, Crain’s Detroit Business first reported.
- McMorrow alleged Lucido suggested she only beat an incumbent senator because of her looks and touched her for a long period of time that made her feel “uncomfortable.”
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A Michigan senator who came under fire for telling a female reporter that high school boys could “have a lot of fun” with her now faces allegations of sexual harassment from a fellow state senator, as Crain’s Detroit Business first reported.
Sen. Mallory McMorrow, 33, filed a sexual harassment complaint with the Senate Business Office on Tuesday regarding an encounter with Sen. Peter Lucido, 59, that took place when she introduced herself to Lucido during a new senator orientation in 2018.
In her complaint, McMorrow wrote that she hoped to prove that Sen. Lucido’s behaviour is “not a one-off, misunderstood occurrence… but a pattern of behaviour intended to demean women at the workplace and abuse a position of power.”
“To my colleagues, we have been entrusted with a great deal of power and responsibility by those we represent — and it’s on all of us to ensure everyone who works with us and around us feels welcome, respected, and safe.” — Senator @MalloryMcMorrow #mileg https://t.co/iGBi0T2pXp
— MI Senate Dems (@MISenDems) January 21, 2020
McMorrow accused Lucido of suggesting she only beat the incumbent senator because of her appearance while, at the same time, he held her lower back for a prolonged period of time.
“He shook my hand and, with his other hand, held my low back with his fingers on my hips, effectively upper rear, and we had a back-and-forth conversation,” McMorrow told Crain’s about the encounter that occurred days after the 2018 midterm elections.
McMorrow added that she felt “uncomfortable” by the prolonged touch and felt she could not move away from Lucido during their conversation.
When McMorrow told Lucido she had won against the incumbent senator, Marty Knollenberg, McMorrow told Crain’s that Lucido “looked me up and down, raised his eyebrows and said, ‘I can see why.'”
McMorrow said the senator’s looks and suggestion that she won because of her appearance “felt really degrading and deflating.”
“It was shocking,” she told Crain’s. “It just knocked me off my feet that that was the first interaction. But you deal with it. You try to do your job.”
Lucido recently came under fire for a sexist remark
In response to the news of McMorrow’s accusations, Lucido has vehemently denied her account and accused the allegations of being “politically motivated.”
“I categorically deny this allegation, which I believe is completely untrue and politically motivated,” Lucido, 59, told Crain’s.
Although Lucido has denied the sexual harassment allegations, fellow Michigan state senators have come forward to confirm McMorrow’s story.
“They were standing there talking together and his arm was… reaching around her back,” Sen. Rosemary Bayer told Crain’s. “This is the age of consent, right? You have to have permission. You can’t be touching people.”
The sexual harassment allegations against Lucido come shortly after 22-year-old Michigan Advance reporter Allison Donahue exposed Lucido for making sexist comments to her in front of a group of Catholic high school boys. Donahue spoke out against Lucido in a first-person account of the incident along with a taped recording of Lucido’s comments. McMorrow said she was inspired to come forward after Donahue went public with her encounter and felt “guilty” for not speaking out sooner.
“Once I saw [Allison Donahue] give an interview and she said ‘it made me feel small,’ I felt guilty,” McMorrow told Crain’s. “I felt like had I said something sooner maybe this wouldn’t have happened to her.”
Lucido’s comments to Donahue prompted state leaders to launch an investigation into whether the Michigan politician violated the senate’s sexual harassment policies. State leaders announced Tuesday that they would be investigating McMorrow’s sexual harassment complaint along with Donahue’s allegations.
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