A second woman has come forward alleging that Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-Nev.) made unwanted sexual advances on several occasions.
The woman, a lobbyist who remains anonymous, told The Nevada Independent that Kihuen touched her thighs or buttocks three different times while he was a state senator. She said he also sent her dozens of suggestive Facebook messages in 2013, commenting on her appearance and sending her a shirtless photo. She added that he later sent hundreds of similar text messages in 2015, once asking her to sit on his lap.
“What color are your panties?” he once reportedly texted her. “Makes me sad,” he responded when she wouldn’t engage. “My day can’t go on without knowing.”
“I don’t think Ruben thinks what he did was wrong,” the woman told the newspaper. “Like, I think he just thought he was playing around, which, I don’t think he realized the position he probably put people in.”
Kihuen, in a statement, declined to comment.
The lobbyist is the second woman to accuse the Nevada congressman of misconduct. Earlier this month, Kihuen’s former campaign finance director told BuzzFeed that he repeatedly propositioned her for dates and sex in 2016. She said she reported it to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee when she announced she was quitting.
Kihuen released a statement apologizing for his behavior, but said he didn’t “recall any of the circumstances.”
In response to the first allegation, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called on Kihuen to resign, as did the DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján.
Kihuen has said he does not plan to resign and alleged that Pelosi and Luján “knew about these allegations last year” and did nothing ― a claim that both officials deny.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) earlier this week demanded an ethics investigation into Kihuen’s behavior.
“Mr. Kihuen has said he didn’t do … what he is alleged to have done,” Hoyer said. “I have said that there needs to be a process that needs to be pursued quickly and transparently to resolve that issue. And if, in fact, the allegations are proven to be true, then I said he ought to resign.”
Sexual misconduct allegations have roiled Congress in recent weeks, prompting Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) to resign. The House Ethics Committee will also investigate Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), who allegedly paid a sexual harassment settlement using $84,000 in taxpayer money.