Democrat California Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Woodland Hills), 36, announced his resignation on Friday, just days after he was accused of masturbating in front of a lobbyist at a party in Las Vegas.
Dababneh, who represents the 45th Assembly District, which located in the western San Fernando Valley, will official leave office on January 1, according to the East Bay Times.
“To be absolutely clear, the allegations against me are not true,” Dababneh reportedly wrote in a letter to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. “However, due to the current environment, I, unfortunately, do not believe I can serve my district effectively.”
California lobbyist Pamela Lopez said Dababneh allegedly followed her into a restroom and masturbated in front of her at a friend’s wedding party is Las Vegas in January 2016.
“No, I will not touch you,” Lopez told the press at press conference in Sacramento recently, as she recalled the words she used to let the lawmaker know that she rejected his behavior.
Dababneh reportedly stated that he will cooperate with the probe into his alleged sexual misconduct and said he was “inspired by the many brave women across the country who have recently come forward with their stories.”
He reportedly wrote, “Clearly, our culture needs to change, our policies need to change, and our work on behalf of women’s rights must advance. … As we battle for change, we must remember that due process exists for a reason. We should never fight injustice with injustice.”
Fellow Democrat Assmeblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Arleta), 46, who is also from the San Fernando Valley, announced his resignation last week after seven women accused him of unwanted sexual advances.
In his resignation letter, Bocanegra wrote, “I sincerely hope that my decision to resign immediately does not embolden those who are using this serious problem in our society to advance their own personal political gain, rather it is my hope that this action can instead help to widen the doors for victims of sexual assault and workplace harassment to find justice and solace.”