SEATTLE – A woman has accused a Washington state lawmaker of raping her 11 years ago, saying she was inspired to speak out as she watched the televised allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The lawmaker denied the claim.
In a tweet Thursday afternoon, Candace Faber said Republican state Sen. Joe Fain sexually assaulted her in 2007 the night she graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He was not in office at the time at the time of the alleged assault.
“I’m done being silent,” she wrote.
Fain said he “absolutely” denies the allegation and called for an investigation.
In a text message to the Associated Press, he said: “Any allegation of this serious nature deserves to be heard and investigated for all parties involved. I invite and will cooperate with any inquiry.”
Fain, 37, was first elected to the Washington state Senate in 2010, three years after the alleged incident. He is a moderate Republican from the Seattle suburb of Auburn and currently the state Senate minority floor leader.
Faber explained later in a statement that she was inspired by Christine Blasey Ford, a California psychology professor who told the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when the two were teenagers. Kavanaugh fiercely denied Ford’s claims.
“Like Dr. Ford, I can no longer remain silent knowing that the man who raped me is in a position to influence the laws that govern my state and impact every woman who lives here,” Faber wrote.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Jay Inslee said he “believes this is a very serious allegation that unquestionably deserves a full investigation by law enforcement officials.”
State Sen. Ann Rivers, a Republican, also supported an investigation, saying how it proceeds will be up to authorities.
“But my fellow Republican senators and I agree that any allegation of this nature must be looked into as thoroughly as possible, no matter who is involved and no matter how many years have passed,” Rivers said in a statement.
Faber, 35, in June published an online essay accusing an unnamed Washington state lawmaker of assaulting her in 2007. She wrote how they met “at the Capitol” after she graduated from Georgetown in Washington, D.C., spent the night dancing and kissing, and that both “drank too much.”
She wrote in the essay she walked the man back to his hotel, went to his room and that he pinned her to a bed and pulled down her dress. She wrote that she told him to stop and put her foot on his head to push him away. After the man raped her, she wrote, she asked him for a kiss goodbye before leaving the room.
In her essay, she rejected that the kiss request was “not how girls act when they’ve been raped.” She wrote that she later called a friend, wondering if she should go to a hospital.
Faber said in her statement Thursday said she did not make the man’s name public earlier because she thought she “could change the culture of sexual assault without needing to say his name” but no longer believes that to be the case.
The AP does not typically name alleged victims of sexual assault, but Faber chose to identify herself. She declined a request to be interviewed and did not respond when asked by email whether she had filed a police report.
The statute of limitations for most serious sex crimes in Washington, D.C., is 15 years.
In interviews with KUOW-AM in Seattle, Faber’s mother and a former colleague at the University of Washington said Faber previously told them that Fain raped her. The co-worker, Frank Martinez, told the public radio station that he knew Faber was struggling with her mental health at the time but he believed her allegation to be credible.
In his text message, Fain asked people to “show respect to Ms. Faber and to the process.” He did not respond to a message Friday seeking additional comment.
The lawmaker served as majority floor leader 2013 through 2017 when the Republicans controlled the chamber. He is up for re-election next month.
Faber’s website says she worked from 2015 to 2017 with the city of Seattle’s information technology department.
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