Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee is accused of retaliating against the victim
A former intern for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation accused the former regional political director for Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) of rape.
Damien Jones worked as the CBCF’s intern coordinator in 2015 when the unnamed victim said the alleged rape took place.
Jones later worked for the O’Rourke campaign against Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the 2018 midterm election.
The victim did not report the alleged rape to the police at the time, but later asked the chief of staff to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) to meet with her about her accusations. The victim was nineteen at the time of the alleged rape.
Rep. Lee, who was the the chair of the board of CBCF at the time, never met with the woman, and instead the victim was fired several weeks later.
The complaint says that the rape assault happened when after the victim went to dinner with Jones in October 2015. He allegedly ordered a large quantity of drinks and she went home with him. The assault allegedly happened without her consent, and she claims that he denied anything happened the next day.
The O’Rourke campaign is distancing itself from their former director.
“The Beto for Texas campaign was absolutely not aware of these allegations until today and no longer has a relationship with Damien Jones,” they said in a statement to Buzzfeed News.
Lee’s office responded to the accusations that she retaliated against the intern for filing rape allegations at the CBCF.
“The Office adamantly denies the allegations that it retaliated against, or otherwise improperly treated, the plaintiff,” the statement read. “It is against office policy to discuss specific details about internal personnel matters.”
“While we still deny the allegations,” the statement concluded, “we are especially concerned about Ms. Doe and only want the best for her and the many, many young people that the Congressional office has supported, encouraged, and provided opportunities for over 20 years.”
O’Rourke has not declared his intention to run for the presidency in 2020, but many of his allies and supporters hope he will jump into the fray to challenge President Donald Trump’s re-election to another term.