Sexual Harassment at the California Capitol: Are There 'Rapists' in the Building? - NBC Southern California
News Conference

News Conference

Southern California's longest running political and public affairs interview program.

Sexual Harassment at the California Capitol: Are There 'Rapists' in the Building?

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Christine Pelosi, chair of the California Democratic Party Women's Caucus and daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, testified in last week's hearing on sexual harassment in Sacramento. She says there are rapists working inside the California Capitol and explains to NBC4's Conan Nolan why she thinks that. (Published Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017)

    The California State Assembly's point person investigating sexual harassment at the state capitol called on victims’ rights advocate and Democratic National Committeewoman Christine Pelosi Sunday to notify police if she believes a lawmaker has committed a violent sexual assault.

    Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) says she was shocked to hear Pelosi’s claim that there are "rapists in this building" during a hearing of her committee Tuesday at the state capitol.

    "If I knew that there was one of my colleagues or anyone in the building who was a rapist, I would go to law enforcement right away … even if i heard it as a rumor … that’s a very serious and frightening thing to hear." 

    Friedman’s comments were broadcast Sunday morning on NBC4’s "News Conference" program.

    NewsConference: Fixing Sex Harassment Reporting in Capitol

    [LA] NewsConference: Fixing Sex Harassment Reporting in Capitol

    California State Assemblywoman Laura Friedman is the point person into the probe of sexual harassment in the state capitol. She chaired the subcommittee on Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation Prevention and Response, the first in a series of public hearings aimed at clarifying the current procedures in dealing with sexual assault claims. She tells NBC4's Conan Nolan what she learned, what is wrong with the current system and what is going to change.

    (Published Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017)

    Pelosi, the daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and chair of the California Democratic Party’s Women’s Caucus, said earlier in the broadcast that she had heard stories from victims involving a variety of sexual harassment and assault, including forced oral copulation and rape. She said naming the perpetrators was up to the victims.

    "If you just look at the blowback I got for saying there are rapists in the capitol you can just imagine the blowback that someone would get for naming one … we have to have whistleblower protections … let's put in some ability for people to tell their story and be protected."

    Also appearing was lobbyist Pamela Lopez who spoke of how one current member of the legislature exposed himself and masturbated in front of her in a restroom. She also discussed being groped and of "quid pro quo" sexual harassment with lawmakers appearing to pledge to help her clients in exchange for sex. Lopez called requests for her to provide names of alleged abusers a form of "victim blaming." 

    "It is the perpetrators fault and it’s our fault as a community for not taking action to make sure workspaces are safe for women," she said.

    On a related issue Assemblywoman Friedman took issue with a constituent letter posted by State Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) which appeared to blame accusations of inappropriate behavior against him on the news media. The letter, posted on the lawmakers Facebook page, stated that "some media look to capitalize on the national climate" to generate news stories "to gain ratings shares." Mendoza has denied the allegations.

    "It left a bad taste in my mouth," Friedman told NBC4. "To basically call her [the accuser] a liar in what’s supposed to be a holiday email to his constituents didn’t seem like the appropriate response." 

    NewsConference: Sexual Harassment a Cultural Problem

    [LA] NewsConference: Sexual Harassment a Cultural Problem

    Pamela Lopez, a Sacramento lobbyist, testified at the hearing on sexual harassment in the California Capitol. She says she has faced years of sexual harassment from an unnamed elected official and tells NBC4's Conan Nolan what she has gone through and why she won't name the perpetrator.

    (Published Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017)

    Get the latest from NBC4 anywhere, anytime

    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android