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State Sen. Dan Schoen pressured to resign amid reports of sexual harassment

Sen. Dan Schoen's colleagues are calling on him to resign following a MinnPost report.

A Minnesota Democratic lawmaker, who served in the Minnesota House and is now in the state Senate, is being pressured to resign after multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

The harassment allegations against DFL Sen. Dan Schoen were first revealed in a report from MinnPost's Briana Bierschbach published Wednesday evening.

The story includes, in part, detailed accounts from two women who wanted to share their stories:

Lindsey Port, a DFL candidate, said she was door-knocking with Schoen in 2015 when he made harassing comments and grabbed her buttocks.

And current Rep. Erin Maye Quade said Schoen sent her unsolicited texts in late 2015 (before she was elected to the Minnesota House) about getting drinks or meeting up, despite her repeatedly declining.

Be sure to head over to MinnPost to read the entire story, which includes additional details, more allegations, and a look at the sexual harassment reporting process in the Legislature.

Schoen has denied the allegations.

He was first elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2016, and served two terms in the state House prior to that.

He lives in St. Paul Park with his two children, and has worked as a police officer in Cottage Grove since 2001 (and until 2014 also served as a paramedic), his Facebook candidate page says.

He represents District 54, which includes the southeast Twin Cities metro (the Cottage Grove, Hatsings, and Afton area).

Lawmakers, leaders call for Schoen to resign

Calls are mounting for Schoen to apologize and resign.

Tom Bakk, the top DFLer in the Senate, in an email statement called the allegations of harassment "sobering and disturbing." He wants Schoen to apologize and leave his seat.

"Sen. Schoen’s actions, even with additional context, were inappropriate and do not meet the standards for behavior of a state legislator,” Bakk, the Senate minority leader, said.

Also joining the call is Rep. Erin Murphy (whom Post and Quade reported the incidents to, as she was Deputy Minority Leader at the time they occurred, MinnPost said).

Murphy, who is running for governor in 2018, called the alleged actions "deplorable," and said Schoen should step down.

"It has no place in our society, and is certainly not representative of how a public official should behave," she added.

The chairman of the DFL, Ken Martin, is also pressuring Schoen. His statement:

“These disturbing allegations make clear that no workplace, including Minnesota’s State Capitol, is immune to sexual harassment. The DFL stands strongly with the women who bravely shared their difficult stories, and all others who may have been harassed by Senator Dan Schoen. There is no room in our party for sexual harassment. The DFL calls for Senator Schoen’s immediate resignation.”

The scope of sexual harassment

The #MeToo movement has turned into a powerful sharing tool for men and women who have been harassed, with the October allegations against film exec Harvey Weinstein sparking its rise.

Since then, other big names have been accused: actor Kevin Spacey, journalist and author Mark Halperin, Amazon Studios exec Roy Price, writer and director James Toback, photographer Terry Richardson, former President George H.W. Bush

NBC News has an updated list with additional names and details about the allegations.

And none of this includes those accused before Weinstein, such as Bill Cosby, President Donald Trump and Bill O'Reilly

A 2015 survey by Cosmopolitan found 1 in 3 women between the ages of 18-34 had been sexually harassed at work.

And not everyone reports it. Many don't because they're scared of losing their job or hurting their career, or because they don't think anyone will believe them, the National Women's Law Center says.

The group Stop Street Harassment did a national survey in 2014 and found 65 percent of all women had been harassed in public in some way – it could be leering or whistling, or making lewd comments; or even more egregious behavior, like being groped or blocked from going somewhere.

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