Lawmaker, #MeToo Advocate Under Investigation for Groping

The 'hypocrisy was really hard to stomach,' says alleged victim
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2018 6:54 AM CST
Lawmaker, #MeToo Advocate Under Investigation for Groping
California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia watches as votes are posted for a measure before the Assembly on Aug. 18, 2016.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

One of the women featured in Time's December issue honoring the #MeToo movement is herself facing multiple accusations of sexual misconduct. California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, who chairs the Legislative Women's Caucus, has risen to national prominence with her advocacy for victims of sexual assault and harassment, counting herself as one of the number. But two men who spoke to Politico are now making allegations of misconduct against her, including one who says the Democrat groped him after the annual Assembly softball game in Sacramento in 2014. Daniel Fierro, then 25 and working for Assemblyman Ian Calderon, says a drunk Garcia cornered him while he was cleaning a dugout, stroked his back, squeezed his butt, and tried to touch his crotch before he slipped away.

Fierro—who says Garcia later "had to have other people hold her up"—didn't report the incident for fear of repercussions, though the Assembly Rules Committee launched an investigation after Fierro mentioned it to Calderon in January. Two coworkers say he also relayed the incident to them. "I knew that I had had an experience that didn't jibe with what ... she was saying, and that kind of hypocrisy was really hard to stomach," Fierro tells the Washington Post. An unidentified lobbyist says Garcia also cornered him, said she'd "set a goal for myself to f--- you," and tried to grab his crotch at a political fundraiser in 2017, where he claims she'd been drinking heavily. In a statement, Garcia says she has "zero recollection of engaging in inappropriate behavior" and "will participate fully in any investigation that takes place." (Read more sexual misconduct stories.)

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