A US Republican politician has been arrested for sexually assaulting a woman in her workplace after allegedly telling her “I no longer have to be politically correct.”
Connecticut’s Christopher von Keyserling, 71, allegedly “pinched” a 57-year-old woman’s groin after a political debate last month.
Shortly after Donald Trump was elected to lead the country, the woman had told the veteran politician “it was a new world politically” and he should educate his fellow lawmakers, according to the police warrant reported in the Greenwich Daily Voice.
“I love this new world, I no longer have to be politically correct,” he allegedly told her.
The woman replied that if he was "proud of that I can't help you" – and he responded by calling her a “lazy, bloodsucking union employee,” the warrant said.
She swore at him and walked into her office, but he followed her and said he wanted to talk with her colleague, the warrant said. The colleague told von Keyserling she didn't have time to speak with him and left the office.
The alleged victim decided to leave with her colleague because she didn't want to be alone with the politician, according to police documents.
As she walked by, he allegedly pinched her in the groin area, according to the warrant. She threatened to punch him if he ever did it again.
Von Keyserling’s own lawyer doesn’t deny the politician’s “pinch,” in a statement that makes us despair:
"Von Keyserling playfully gave a lady who he knew for 30 years a pinch is what the accusation is," Russell says. "And somehow, everybody's wringing their hands and carrying on that this is a crime, and it just isn't."
His statement implies four things:
- knowing someone for a long time has a bearing on whether you can sexually touch them without their consent
- it’s not assault as long as the intention is “playful”
- complaining that someone has touched/grabbed/pinched/groped – i.e. assaulted – a woman is “hand-wringing” therefore excessive and we shouldn’t care
- “carrying on that this is a crime” - sexual assault between acquaintances isn’t a real problem in the grand scheme of things, is it?
Thankfully, the US state of Connecticut does view sexual assault as a crime. A local government official released this statement on von Keyserling’s arrest: "The town has zero tolerance for this alleged behaviour. For years we've had training programs in place for all employees and beyond but cannot comment because this is an allegation that will be adjudicated in the court of law."
Ironically, von Keyserling allegedly told the woman it was “her word against his” after the alleged assault - without realising CCTV was filming the entire incident.
He paid $2,500 (£2,100) bail and is due to appear in court on January 25.