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 towards him are true.
The ex-congresswoman, who resigned in October 2019 in response to the leaked images and allegations of a sexual relationship together with her staffer, wrote an op-ed in Self-importance Honest detailing her now-ended friendship with Gaetz and her response to experiences that he’s below 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 felony 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 reality to those experiences, he ought to resign instantly.”
The New York Instances reported final week that the Justice Division is investigating Gaetz for federal intercourse trafficking violations associated to the alleged sexual misconduct, particularly associated to the 17-year-old lady. The age of consent below 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 buddy, 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 doubtlessly having intercourse with. Gaetz is accused of working with Greenberg to recruit ladies and girls on-line for intercourse and sending them cash in alternate, in addition to taking medicine with the feminine targets earlier than having intercourse, in line with the Instances.
Funds in alternate for intercourse could lead on Gaetz to be charged with trafficking ladies below “pressure, fraud or coercion.” Offering somebody below 18 with something of worth in alternate for intercourse ― similar to meals, lodges, medicine and alcohol ― would even be a federal baby intercourse trafficking violation.
Gaetz has vehemently denied the allegations, saying that any items he gave to feminine sexual pursuits have been as a result of he was a “beneficiant associate.” The 38-year-old has additionally alleged that the experiences are a part of an extortion plot towards him and his household by a former DOJ worker.
“Let me state it as clearly as attainable: If, regardless of his denials, Matt Gaetz did have intercourse with a minor, if he did present ladies and younger ladies with medicine and cash and items in alternate for intercourse, if he did ask these ladies and younger ladies to recruit different ladies for a similar goal, and if he did present his colleagues photographs of nude ladies with out their consent, he must be held accountable,” Hill wrote.
Gaetz additionally revealed 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 considered one of 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 information shops revealed nude images 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 take into account revenge porn. In her op-ed, Hill mentioned that Gaetz defended her “at one of many darkest moments of my life, after I was feeling extra alone than I ever had.”
The previous congresswoman mentioned that the 2 remained in touch every now and then 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 could be harmless. However, as she notes in her op-ed, CNN then reported that Gaetz had a historical past of displaying lawmakers images and movies on his telephone of bare ladies 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 achieved 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 Nationwide Sexual Assault On-line Hotline or the Nationwide Sexual Violence Useful resource Middle’s web site.
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