Sacramento Lobbyist Accuses Sitting Assemblymember of Sexual Assault

California Assemblyman Matt Dababneh speaks in Sacramento

California Assemblyman Matt Dababneh speaks in Sacramento

Lopez initially declined to name Dababneh when she described the encounter to Capital Public Radio and others earlier this fall.

"I've heard from enough women, that I am fearful and I am anxious that this will happen to others again", she said. She also outlined the alleged incident in a letter to the Assembly committee tasked with handling misconduct complaints. When I turned around, I saw Matt Dababneh. "Before the ordeal ended, he told me not to tell anyone".

For that reason, Lopez said, she chose to come forward and name her perpetrator. "And, so I said several times, 'No, I will not touch you'". "I am saddened by this lobbyist's effort to create this falsehood and make these inflammatory statements, apparently for her own self-promotion and without regard to the reputation of others". Dababneh said he strongly denies the allegation. The spotlight has been on California's legislature since October, when more than 140 women, many with high-powered jobs, called out a "pervasive" culture of harassment in the state's political world and asked other women to speak up.

Last week, Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) resigned after several women accused him of making unwanted sexual advances.

Another lawmaker, Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, was stripped of his legislative leadership positions pending an investigation into harassment allegations.

"There are other women who have been sexually harassed by Matt Dababneh", said Lopez. She's now the director of corporate relations for Ovation, an independent television network.

Bash told the AP he did not formally report Dababneh's behavior because he felt it was up to the people who had worked for him to make that choice.

Lobbyist Pamela Lopez
Lobbyist Pamela Lopez

Dababneh was known for his sexually charged comments in the office and inappropriate conduct, according to Barker.

A Sacramento lobbyist and staffer have accused Assemblyman Matt Dababneh of lewd sex acts and inappropriate behavior.

As it has in Hollywood and across the country, sexual harassment has become a hot topic in Sacramento, with legislative leaders vowing to crack down on misconduct. Lopez spoke out to the media last week about the allegation, but did not name the perpetrator due to fear of retaliation. And her case links this mess to Rep. Brad Sherman.

Ken Maxey, a friend of Dababneh's, told the Los Angeles Times he was at the same party and doesn't believe Lopez's allegations are credible given the timeline and setup of the event.

According to Lopez, the episode took place during a wedding-related celebration in Las Vegas in January 2016.

Lopez's lawyers provided reporters with copies of a cease-and-desist letter that Patricia Glaser, chair of the litigation department at Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro, sent the lobbyist on Friday. Glaser also represents disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein, who faces dozens of sexual abuse allegations.

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