Publish date:

Advocate accuses Minnesota lawmaker of unwanted touching

She has made a formal complaint to police.
Author:

A Minnesota lawmaker says he "deeply regrets" his actions after he was accused by an advocate of unwanted touching, but says his attempted comforting of the woman were misconstrued.

State Rep. Rod Hamilton (R–Mountain Lake) is the subject of a complaint made to St. Paul Police Department by a woman who works as an advocate for a sexual violence center, according to the Pioneer Press.

The complainant says she was at Rep. Hamilton's St. Paul apartment on Apr. 13, where he allegedly stroked her hair, traced the outline of her ear with his finger, kissed her on the cheek, touched her hands and hugged her against her wishes.

In a statement sent to BMTN, Rep. Hamilton said: "I deeply regret the effect my actions had on [his accuser].

"I intended to offer comfort and compassion to a person who was going through a difficult time. I now understand that my actions, while well-intentioned may be viewed differently by a survivor of sexual assault, and that it may have caused additional pain and hardship. 

"For that I fully apologize."

Related:

– Tired of waiting, female lawmakers take action on sexual harassment.

Sign up for our daily newsletters.

Rep. Hamilton says he's reported the incident to the House HR Department, and as of yet has not been contacted by police regarding the allegations.

"I will cooperate fully with any investigation conducted either by law enforcement or the House Human Resources Department."

In the wake of the allegation coming to light, House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Majority Leader Rep. Joyce Peppin announced Rep. Hamilton has been suspended from his committee chairmanship while the HR department investigates.

Police told the Star Tribune that at the moment there's not enough evidence for a criminal case, noting that it's a crime for anyone to engage in "nonconsensual sexual contact" that includes touching a victim's "intimate parts."

Rep. Hamilton did not touch said parts, his accuser told officers.

Just on Wednesday, the Minnesota House approved a new sexual harassment policy that is applicable to lawmakers even when they're not on the Capitol grounds.

It follows the resignations of two lawmakers, former GOP Rep. Tony Cornish and former DFL Sen. Dan Schoen, after they were accused of sexually inappropriate conduct.

Next Up

Flickr - Xcel Energy truck - Tony Webster

Xcel Energy wants to raise MN customers' electricity rates

If approved, rates go up by an average of $18.50 a month for customers.

Screen Shot 2021-10-27 at 1.11.05 PM

MPD chief 'confident' officers will still show up after Question 2 vote

Arradondo held a press conference Wednesday in which he urged for a 'No' vote.

J R Jones - Anoka County Jail 2021.10.16 - Resize crop

Charges: Driver in fatal hit-and-run said he thought he hit dog or sign

The crash killed a 56-year-old Blaine woman who had been out walking her dog.

vaccine, covid

Here is Minnesota's plan to vaccinate kids 5-11 against COVID-19

The plan includes hosting vaccination clinics at schools across the state.

Mounds View PD missing 12yo Riddley

12-year-old Twin Cities boy has been missing for 4 days

Police are asking for the public's help locating the child,

moorhead police

Police searching for man charged with kidnapping woman at gunpoint

The man approached the victim's car and pointed a gun at her, the charges state.

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

Teachers union calls for 'bold' plan to get kids vaccinated against COVID

"All options should be on the table," Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota, said.

madden's

Madden's has banner summer with surge of visitors to Gull Lake

The resort was named the No. 1 resort in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

Related

Another state lawmaker accused of sexual harassment: Rep. Tony Cornish

Accusations against Rep. Tony Cornish have now come out.

New Schoen accuser says there's 'a pattern of inappropriate sexual interactions'

The state senator is facing allegations from a fourth woman.

Ex-staffer accuses Rick Nolan of lying over former aide's harassment

A woman accusing Nolan's former aide of sexual harassment has penned an open letter to the congressman.

Both MN lawmakers accused of sexual harassment will resign, reports say

Rep. Tony Cornish and Sen. Dan Schoen will both step down.

Minnesota lawmaker pressured over 'Hitler Youth' post

Rep. Mary Franson is attracting unwanted attention for her social media post.

More MN politicians have harassed women, lawmakers claim

Sen. Dan Schoen has been accused of sexual harassment, but two female politician says he isn't the only one.

Accused lawmaker was warned about sex harassment, former House speaker says

A House colleague and a lobbyist have accused Cornish of sex harassment.