Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) is vehemently denying allegations that he molested a 16-year-old girl after drugging her in 2007.
The accusations are made in a new lawsuit that was first reported last week by the Los Angeles Times, though the politician was only named in the suit as “John Doe” (the victim, similarly, is named as “Jane Doe.”) Rep. Cardenas has reportedly informed colleagues that he is the target of the lawsuit, and is proclaiming his innocence.
The accusations, as reported by the Times, are as follows:
Jane Doe met the politician in 2005 at a golf tournament, when she was a “star teenage athlete” and he was an “elected politician,” according to the suit. The politician “grew close to and became an integral part of Ms. Doe’s and her family’s lives,” the lawsuit states.
John Doe invited her to play at Hillcrest Country Club in January 2007, when she was 16, according to the lawsuit. Several hours into their game, the suit said, the man handed her a cup of ice water; it had an unusual taste, so she took just a few sips. The pair played golf for four or five hours, when the teenager “suddenly collapsed to the ground but did not lose consciousness.”
The man drove her to the emergency room. During the ride, he reached inside her shirt and rubbed her breasts, the suit alleges. He also reached down her shorts and fondled her vagina, according to the suit. Jane Doe was “frozen from shock,” according to the lawsuit.
The abuse continued for 30 to 45 minutes as he drove, according to the lawsuit. “Ms. Doe remained motionless and speechless throughout the entire incident in fear of what he might do if she did not feign sleep.”
Cardenas pushed back publicly on Thursday for the first time, through a statement by his attorney, as reported by Politico:
“My client is sickened and distraught by these horrific allegations, which are 100%, categorically untrue,” Cárdenas’ attorney Patricia Glaser said in a statement. “To reiterate, these claims against the Congressman are absolutely false and utterly inconsistent with who he is — in the workplace, in the community, and at home.”
Glaser called the allegations “baseless and reckless,” saying the claims can “ruin the lives and careers of innocent people.” She went on to describe the woman who filed the suit as “the daughter of a disgruntled former employee and [she] may be the victim of manipulation.”
The lawsuit claims that “Jane Doe” is coming forward because she was inspired by the “#metoo” movement.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.