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Nebraska State Senator Says Candidate for Governor Groped Her

By , in Politics , at April 15, 2022

The state senator, Julie Slama, confirmed a information report saying that Charles Herbster, a number one candidate for governor, had touched her inappropriately in 2019. He denied the allegations.

A Republican state senator in Nebraska stated on Thursday that she had been groped three years in the past by a fellow Republican who’s now a number one candidate within the celebration’s major election for governor subsequent month.

The candidate, Charles Herbster, denied the allegations from the state senator, Julie Slama, calling them “100 % false.”

Ms. Slama issued her assertion after The Nebraska Examiner published an article concerning the alleged incident, which she stated had occurred at a Douglas County Republican Celebration dinner in April 2019.

“In the present day’s Nebraska Examiner report about Charles Herbster sexually assaulting me in 2019, after I was 22 years previous, is true,” Ms. Slama stated, including that she had “prayed I might by no means need to relive this trauma.”

She stated that when the information outlet requested her about what had occurred, “I used to be not going to disclaim the reality.” Ms. Slama’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. In February, she referred to the alleged assault during a speech on the ground of the Legislature, although she didn’t identify Mr. Herbster on the time.

Mr. Herbster, who owns a big agricultural firm and was endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump forward of the Could 10 major election, stated in a statement that the allegations have been “a ridiculous, unfounded soiled political trick” being carried out by his political opponents within the state, together with Gov. Pete Ricketts, additionally a Republican.

“For over 30 years, I’ve employed a whole lot of individuals,” Mr. Herbster stated. “I’ve revered and empowered girls to run my firm, my farm and now my marketing campaign. Not as soon as has my integrity EVER been challenged on this method.” Later, he advised a local radio station: “They did it with Brett Kavanaugh. They definitely did it with Donald J. Trump and now they’re making an attempt to do it with Charles W. Herbster.”

Mr. Herbster’s marketing campaign supervisor, Ellen Keast, issued a separate statement that “unequivocally” denied the allegations and accused Mr. Ricketts at better size of being behind the story. Ms. Keast famous that Mr. Ricketts and Ms. Slama had political ties; she labored as press secretary on his 2018 marketing campaign for governor earlier than he appointed her to the Legislature the following 12 months.

Requested to reply, Mr. Ricketts stated in an interview: “Effectively, I might learn the article. I’ve hardly ever seen an article on this matter that’s so extensively corroborated by witnesses.” Referring to Ms. Slama’s resolution to talk publicly concerning the alleged incident, he stated, “It’s most likely probably the most brave issues I’ve ever seen.”

Mr. Ricketts stated that Mr. Herbster “ought to search assist and he ought to resign from his marketing campaign.”

A spokeswoman for Mr. Ricketts later stated that the governor had discovered of the accusations solely when the article was printed.

Mr. Herbster and the Douglas County Republican Celebration didn’t instantly reply to messages on Thursday.

Nati Harnik/Related Press

In line with the article, Ms. Slama, who was appointed to the Legislature in January 2019, was in a crowded ballroom on the Douglas County Republican Celebration’s annual Elephant Remembers dinner that April when she walked by Mr. Herbster. The information outlet reported that he then “reached up her skirt, with out her consent, and touched her inappropriately.”

On Thursday afternoon, after one distinguished supporter of Mr. Herbster was quoted on social media asking what Ms. Slama was sporting the evening of the Republican dinner, she posted {a photograph} on Twitter with the message, “This costume is what I used to be sporting after I was sexually assaulted.”

In her February speech, Ms. Slama stated, “Early on, after I received into politics at age 22 in Nebraska, I used to be groped at a political occasion by somebody who was not a member of this physique and never a present or former officeholder.”

Mentioning different situations of being touched or spoken to inappropriately, Ms. Slama stated she typically didn’t communicate out about such experiences as a result of “as a younger feminine, you are worried that it will be the factor that defines you.”

The Examiner reported that along with Ms. Slama, six different girls stated Mr. Herbster had touched them inappropriately at numerous occasions relationship to 2017, and a seventh stated he had kissed her forcibly. The ladies weren’t recognized within the article, and The New York Instances couldn’t contact them to independently corroborate their allegations.

The Nebraska Examiner, which was formed in January, describes itself as a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom and as a part of a nationwide group bolstering native reporting.

Mr. Herbster is amongst 9 Republicans seeking to change Mr. Ricketts, who’s term-limited. Mr. Herbster’s marketing campaign has spent greater than $Four million to this point, essentially the most of any candidate, although Jim Pillen, a veterinarian who owns a big household farm and was endorsed by Mr. Ricketts and Ms. Slama, has the same sum in his marketing campaign struggle chest.

Mr. Herbster’s marketing campaign has spent $4.eight million on promoting to this point, in contrast with practically $3.7 million spent by Mr. Pillen’s marketing campaign, based on Advert Impression, a media monitoring agency.

Throughout the 2016 election, Mr. Trump’s marketing campaign named Mr. Herbster, the chief executive of the Conklin Firm, to its agricultural and rural advisory committee together with dozens of different supporters. After Mr. Trump endorsed Mr. Herbster for governor, Mr. Ricketts acknowledged that he had requested the previous president to “keep out of the race.”

Kirsten Noyes contributed analysis.

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