There has recently been a long line of well-known men who have been accused of sexual assault by women who are seeking to regain their power by finally making their crimes known. One of the most recent scandals involved former Alabama candidate for Senate, Roy Moore (R), who was accused by several woman of sexually assaulting them when they were teenagers. Democrat Doug Jones went on to win Tuesday’s special election to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat.
Now, a Wyoming woman is accusing another politician of sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager. This time, the victim, Tatiana Maxwell said she was working as an intern in 1982 at a law firm in Cheyenne, where attorney Ed Murray assaulted her in his office.
According to The Casper-Star Tribune:
‘Murray, now Wyoming’s secretary of state, denies the allegations. Murray is considering whether to run for governor and is widely viewed as one of the leading Republican candidates, should he decide to enter the race.’
Maxwell disclosed the assault in a #MeToo Facebook post. In a phone interview with the Star-Tribune on Thursday, she said:
‘This is not a comfortable thing to talk about. It hasn’t been a comfortable thing for 35 years, but it’s the right thing to do.’
Murray responded to Maxwell’s statement, denying anything happened, saying:
‘This baseless claim about an encounter from thirty-five years ago is unequivocally false. There is no basis to this falsehood whatsoever and it is deeply hurtful to me and to my family, as well as to everyone I serve.’
Maxwell said in her Facebook post that she was working at Dray, Madison and Thompson law firm the summer after she graduated from high school. Murray was five years older than her and had taken a job there after graduating from law school. Maxwell wrote:
‘He was older, handsome and from an old Cheyenne family but I didn’t really know him.’
Maxwell gave a detailed account of how Murray invited her to meet him in his office once after working hours. She sat with him in the reception area and recalled there was Domino’s pizza and beer. According to the Star-Tribune:
‘She said that Murray put his hands on her and attempted to kiss her but that she resisted, told him she was a virgin and stopped him from taking off her pants.’
‘Ed wrestled me down to the carpet in front of the receptionist desk, opened his pants, lifted up my blouse and ejaculated on my stomach. I was disgusted and horrified.’
Maxwell also wrote:
‘One of the unforgettable memories was of him handing me the box of Kleenex from the receptionist’s desk to clean myself up after … he was finished.’
Maxwell says she did not report it to the firm’s senior lawyers at the time because she feared losing her job, and did not feel like she could “contact the police” because she hadn’t been physically hurt. Murray married a high school classmate of hers and was present at two class reunions she attended where he tried to apologize to her the first time and “alluded” to the incident a second time.
Murray made a statement saying:
‘As a husband of thirty-one years and the father of four incredible daughters, I take my role as an advocate for women with utmost importance. While I am deeply disturbed by this false allegation, I choose to allow this to serve as a reminder of how important it is to be an advocate for the courageous women and men who have spoken out against a very serious problem in our country.’
Maxwell was courageous in her decision to come forward, after numerous other women have paved the way for her by sharing their own personal stories.
Here is a collection of responses and breaking news from Twitter:
Featured image by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images