Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., has reportedly spent the past few days reaching out to colleagues to identify himself as the unnamed defendant in a lawsuit filed last week that alleged an ‘elected official’ sexually assaulted a teenage girl – allegations his attorney said are “categorically untrue.”
“My client is sickened and distraught by these horrific allegations, which are 100%, categorically untrue,” Patricia Glaser told the Washington Post on Thursday in a statement on Cárdenas’s behalf. “We respect victims who have found the strength to come forward and call out misconduct when it has actually occurred, but the type of baseless and reckless allegations that are contained in the complaint against my client can ruin the lives and careers of innocent people.”
A lawsuit filed on April 27, in Los Angeles, alleges “John Doe” met “a star teenage athlete” identified as “Jane Doe” at a golf tournament in 2005, where he “grew close” with the girl and her family, the Los Angeles Times reported.
John Doe invited the plaintiff to play golf two years later when she was 16-years-old, where he at some point offered the teenager a glass of water that she claims “had an unusual taste.” Several hours later, she collapsed but remained conscious, and while Mr. Doe drove her to the hospital, he “reached inside her shirt and rubbed her breasts,” as well as “fondled” her genitals, the paper reported, citing the lawsuit.
The abuse lasted for “30 to 45 minutes” until the girl was dropped off at the hospital, at which point Mr. Doe left, the lawsuit alleges.
Cárdenas was not named in the lawsuit. The lawsuit claims that Mr. Doe’s actions constitute childhood sexual abuse.
The Democratic congressman has been connecting with colleagues in recent days to profess his innocence, the Post reported, citing House Democratic aides.
Glaser told the Post her client “expects complete exoneration, as he is 100% innocent,” and that it is a case of a “daughter of a disgruntled former employee and may be the victim of manipulation.”
The congressman has served in the House since 2013 and was a L.A. City Council member during the time of the alleged abuse, Politico reported.
Lisa Bloom is the attorney representing the plaintiff, and told the Post “once the court grants us leave to name the defendant, we will do so."