Amidst Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual assault allegations by professor and psychologist Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, more abuse allegations continue to plague and corrupt the Republican Party. Sadly, it still doesn’t come as a shock in the year 2018.
On Friday, Minnesota Republican state Representative Jim Knoblach dropped his election bid on Friday after his grown daughter accused him of sexual abuse. According to Minnesota Public Radio:
‘Republican state Rep. Jim Knoblach abruptly ended his re-election campaign Friday as MPR News prepared to publish detailed accusations from his daughter of inappropriate behavior toward her since childhood.’
In a written statement, Knoblach wrote:
‘I love my children more than anything, and would never do anything to hurt them. Her allegations are false. I and other family members have made repeated attempts to reconcile with her in recent years, but she has refused.’
Rep. Knoblach’s daughter, 23 year-old Laura Knoblach, says that her father touched her for most of her life and she had confided in close friends, family, and authority figures at her school and church for more than a decade. She claims that he first touched her when she was nine years old, coming into her bedroom after she had gone to sleep.
Laura Knoblach said:
‘He would put his arm around me and not let me get up or get away and he would lick my neck or bite my ear.’
‘These visits to her room, or similar kissing across her arms and neck and biting her ears while they watched movies on the couch, happened so often throughout her childhood and teenage years it became a defining part of her relationship with her father, she said.
‘There were other routine behaviors, she said, including more than 30 instances where her father approached her from behind and pressed his body against hers in the kitchen of their home, pinning her against the refrigerator or dishwasher and using his weight and strength to keep her from getting away.’
Jim Knoblach’s attorney, Susan Gaertner said that her client “does not want to drag his family through six weeks of hell.” She said:
‘There have been family conflicts, as is true of any family, some of them have been quite difficult. You add a layer of family conflicts to politics, and that makes the situation even more difficult.’
Laura Knoblach said the sexual abuse was ongoing between the ages of 9 and 21.
Laura moved away from her family to Boulder, Colorado, in December of 2016. She posted to Facebook page that her family had tried to “silence” her about the abuse but said that she thought it was important to speak out. After much media attention and pressure from her family, she removed the post but an uncle of Laura’s contacted the police.
Here is an excerpt from Laura’s Facebook post :
In January of 2017, the St. Cloud Police Department and Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation into the case and Laura was interviewed by two officers. According to MPR:
‘Two months later, the case was closed and the Sherburne County Attorney’s Office declined to press charges because there was “insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Jim Knoblach had committed a crime.”‘
Laura was told by a police officer that her father’s actions were “really in appropriate but not criminal.” She was also told by Officer Fischer that they wouldn’t be able to bring charges because her father did not expose himself or touch her under her clothes. Fischer said:
‘I don’t think there’s much of a doubt in my mind that he knew what he was doing. And that he knew what he was doing was wrong.’
Laura Knoblach said:
‘The hardest part hasn’t really been not being believed, it’s been having people try to convince me that I’m the bad guy, having people try to convince me that this person is just confused. If people don’t believe you, that is their prerogative, but it is another thing to try to convince you you’re taking it the wrong way.’
Featured image via Minnesota Public Radio