Former Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.), whom Rep. Matt Gaetz defended when she was the sufferer of leaked nude images, mentioned Monday that the Florida Republican should resign if the sexual misconduct allegations in opposition to him are true.
The ex-congresswoman, who resigned in October 2019 in response to the leaked images and allegations of a sexual relationship along with her staffer, wrote an op-ed in Vanity Fair detailing her now-ended friendship with Gaetz and her response to stories that he’s underneath federal investigation for allegedly having intercourse with a 17-year-old lady and paying for her to journey with him throughout state traces.
“A few of these actions are prison and a few of them must be,” Hill wrote. “All are morally reprehensible and unacceptable for a lawmaker. If there may be even a fraction of fact to those stories, he ought to resign instantly.”
The New York Instances reported final week that the Justice Department is investigating Gaetz for federal sex trafficking violations associated to the alleged sexual misconduct, particularly associated to the 17-year-old lady. The age of consent underneath federal legislation is eighteen years, and taking the underage lady throughout state traces to have intercourse would violate federal intercourse trafficking legal guidelines.
The allegations stemmed from a bigger investigation into Gaetz’s good friend, Seminole County, Florida, tax collector Joel Greenberg. Greenberg was indicted final yr on federal intercourse trafficking costs allegedly involving the identical 17-year-old lady Gaetz is being investigated for probably having intercourse with. Gaetz is accused of working with Greenberg to recruit girls and girls on-line for intercourse and sending them cash in alternate, in addition to taking medication with the feminine targets earlier than having intercourse, in accordance with the Instances.
Funds in alternate for intercourse may lead Gaetz to be charged with trafficking ladies underneath “drive, fraud or coercion.” Offering somebody underneath 18 with something of worth in alternate for intercourse ― resembling meals, resorts, medication and alcohol ― would even be a federal youngster intercourse trafficking violation.
Gaetz has vehemently denied the allegations, saying that any items he gave to feminine sexual pursuits had been as a result of he was a “beneficiant associate.” The 38-year-old has additionally alleged that the stories are a part of an extortion plot in opposition to him and his household by a former DOJ worker.
“Let me state it as clearly as potential: If, regardless of his denials, Matt Gaetz did have intercourse with a minor, if he did present women and younger ladies with medication and cash and items in alternate for intercourse, if he did ask these women and younger ladies to recruit different ladies for a similar objective, and if he did present his colleagues photographs of nude ladies with out their consent, he must be held accountable,” Hill wrote.
Gaetz also published an op-ed Monday repeating that he refuses to resign in response to the allegations, claiming in The Washington Examiner that his conduct “was not and isn’t unlawful.” He additionally talked about his protection of Hill at a time “when her personal Democratic colleagues wouldn’t.”
Hill resigned from Congress over allegations that she had sexual relationships with one in all her male congressional staffers ― which she denied ― and a feminine marketing campaign staffer, which she confirmed and apologized for being “inappropriate.” Whereas the scandal got here out, conservative news outlets published nude photos of Hill that she mentioned was in response to a troublesome divorce from her husband on the time.
Gaetz, who was on the identical Home committee as Hill, was one of many few lawmakers who stood by her amid what many would consider revenge porn. In her op-ed, Hill mentioned that Gaetz defended her “at one of the darkest moments of my life, once I was feeling extra alone than I ever had.”
The previous congresswoman mentioned that the 2 remained in touch from time to time however that their communication ultimately ceased after Gaetz’s assault on former Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum and after his continued assist of Donald Trump’s election lies.
Regardless of the fallout, Hill mentioned she had initially ignored addressing the Instances report in hopes Gaetz can be harmless. However, as she notes in her op-ed, CNN then reported that Gaetz had a history of showing lawmakers photos and videos on his phone of naked women he claimed to have slept with ― a subject that rings private for the previous congresswoman.
“If true, Matt had engaged within the very observe he’d defended me from,” she wrote. “Sharing intimate photographs or movies of somebody with out their consent must be unlawful, plain and easy. It shouldn’t matter if it was executed to harm somebody, as with revenge porn, or to brag about your sexual conquests, like Matt has been accused of doing.”
Need assistance? Go to RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.
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