Several women have come out with harassment claims against Dem State Senator Dan Schoen and calls for his resignation are growing louder.
As reported in MinnPost
Minnesota state Sen. Dan Schoen sexually harassed women involved in state politics while serving as a DFL lawmaker, according to multiple women who have spoken to MinnPost. Schoen, currently a first-term senator from St. Paul Park, previously served two terms in the House. He also works as a paramedic and police officer in Cottage Grove.
The women describe behavior by Schoen that ranges from persistent and unwanted invitations to meet to physically grabbing a woman from behind. One woman, who asked to not be identified, said he sent her a photo of male genitalia via Snapchat.
Schoen, who was presented with the allegations in a meeting with MinnPost, was aware of each incident but said in a subsequent statement that the allegations are “either completely false or have been taken far out of context. It was never my intention to leave the impression I was making an inappropriate advance on anyone. I feel terrible that someone may have a different interpretation of an encounter, but that is the absolute truth. I also unequivocally deny that I ever made inappropriate contact with anyone.”
“Despite this, if any of my actions or words have ever made another person feel uncomfortable or harassed, I deeply regret it and truly apologize,” Schoen continued. “This is not who I am nor is it the person I would want anyone to feel I am.”
But DFL Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, after being told about the allegations and talking with Schoen, called for him to resign from his seat in the Legislature. “These victims’ allegations are sobering and disturbing. Sen. Schoen’s actions, even with additional context, were inappropriate and do not meet the standards for behavior of a state legislator,” Bakk said in a statement. “I have discussed these allegations with my leadership team and we are united in our call for Sen. Dan Schoen to apologize, step aside, and seek care to address these actions.”
As of late Wednesday evening, Schoen said he had no intention of resigning.
‘That’s a good door-knocking ass’
Among the women to step forward to report their experience with Schoen is Lindsey Port. In August of 2015, Port was a first-time DFL legislative candidate when she went to an event in downtown Minneapolis to mingle with fellow candidates. The Democratic National Committee was hosting three days of meetings in Minneapolis, and a year ahead of the presidential election, Hillary Clinton and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley were expected to show up and shake hands with activists from across the country.
Port, a small-business owner, had recently announced her plans to run for a state House seat in the Burnsville area. At the DNC event, she was chatting with other candidates and state legislators about her busy summer knocking on doors — a common campaign activity — when Schoen, then a representative in the House, stepped back to look at her from behind. “‘I can tell when a candidate is doing a good job knocking on doors by checking out their ass,’” Port says Schoen told her. “He said, ‘Yep, looks like you’re doing a good job.’”
The group quickly moved on to other topics, but about 15 minutes later, Port recalled, O’Malley showed up at the event and she made her way over to meet him. Right as she was about to greet O’Malley, Schoen came up from behind her and grabbed her buttocks. According to Port, Schoen then said: “Yep, yep, that’s a good door-knocking ass.”
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