Rep. David Wu (D-OR) is accused of an “aggressive, unwanted sexual encounter,” according to a report in The Oregonian. The young woman who called his office and left a voicemail sounded “distraught,” sources told the paper, and is the daughter of one of Wu’s close friends and campaign donors.
Wu allegedly acknowledged a sexual encounter to staffers, but said that it was consensual, and that he did not know how old the girl was. The woman did not report the incident to police. According to The Oregonian, she graduated from high school in 2010.
Friday night, Wu issued a one-sentence statement: “This is very serious, and I have absolutely no desire to bring unwanted publicity, attention, or stress to a young woman and her family.”
The alleged incident took place over Thanksgiving weekend 2010, sources told the paper. Around that same time, staff were quietly pleading with Wu to seek psychiatric help, due to his erratic behavior.
Talking Points Memo rounded up staffers’ reports of Wu’s strange actions, then just before the election: He emailed female staffers in the early hours, signing with his children’s names, he delivered aggressive campaign speeches and pictures of him dressed as a tiger circulated after he sent them to sources and staffers.
Six senior staffers, as well as his chief fundraiser and pollster, resigned in November 2010.
In an interview on Good Morning America, Wu claimed to have sought treatment for stress, and admitted that the tiger picture was unprofessional, though he insisted the costume was for a Halloween party.
He attributed the erratic behavior to the stress of raising children while divorced, as well as campaigning.
As a student at Stanford in the 1976, Wu was disciplined by the school after an ex-girlfriend accused him of trying to force her to have sex with him. He claimed, after she reported that she had scratched him on the face and neck while he stifled her screams with a pillow, that the incident had been consensual, and that the couple had “just gotten carried away,” The Oregonian reported. Then 21 years old, Wu was punished by being removed from his post as a resident assistant. The women did not file charges, and the university did not file a formal disciplinary complaint.
Wu is in his seventh term serving as congressman for Oregon’s first district.
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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