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giftedviz.com November 14, 2018


Valley Assemblyman Matt Dababneh accused of sexually assaulting Sacramento lobbyist

05 December 2017, 02:54 | Darnell Patrick

Valley Assemblyman Matt Dababneh accused of sexually assaulting Sacramento lobbyist

Pamela Lopez

Two women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and assault against California Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D).

Dababneh is a Democrat who represents the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County.

Pamela Lopez, flanked by lawyers from Levy Vinick Burrell Hyams at a press conference, said Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, D-Woodland Hills, followed her into a bathroom at a wedding that both were attending. She chose to name Dababneh at the urging of California Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D), who chairs the Assembly Rules Committee.

She also credited the #MeToo campaign and the "moment of collective action" for inspiring her to come forward and name her perpetrator.

"I am saddened by this lobbyist's effort to create this falsehood and make these inflammatory statements, apparently for her own self-promotion and without regard for the reputations of others", he said.

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The lobbyist said the Assembly Rules Committee chairman Ken Cooley urged women who have been sexually assaulted to come forward and name their perpetrators.

Lopez, 35, first shared her story with reporters soon after the October launch of the anti-sexual harassment "We Said Enough" campaign. When I turned around, I saw Matt Dababneh. She said the crowd included political professionals, many of whom she knew.

A Sacramento lobbyist who weeks ago told reporters that an unnamed current lawmaker trapped her in a bathroom previous year and exposed himself has waited to name names - until now. When she went to the bathroom, she wrote, he blocked the door, dropped his trousers and urged her to touch him. Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra resigned last week, and Sen.

"It was a terrifying experience". Tony Mendoza, D-Cerritos, was stripped of committee leadership positions pending an investigation of harassment allegations.

Lopez described the incident in a letter to lawmakers, including Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Burbank, chairwoman of the Assembly Rules Subcommittee on Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation Prevention and Response. She told the NYT she was "fearful of being retaliated against".



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