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Washington House GOP Leader: 'I Have Personally Been A Victim Of Sexual Harassment'

House Republican Leader Dan Kristiansen speaks with reporters after revealing that he was sexually harassed at the state Capitol more than a decade ago.
Deborah Wang
/
Northwest News Network
House Republican Leader Dan Kristiansen speaks with reporters after revealing that he was sexually harassed at the state Capitol more than a decade ago.

The Republican leader in the Washington state House says he was sexually harassed at the Capitol more than a decade ago. Dan Kristiansen revealed his experience Thursday during a legislative preview event hosted by the Associated Press.

He made his comments while answering a question about creating a safe work environment at the Capitol.

“I have personally been a victim of sexual harassment on this campus,” Kristiansen said.

Kristiansen said it was a woman who harassed him, but he wouldn’t say who she was or her position. He said he handled the matter on his own.

“I nipped it in the bud immediately,” Kristiansen said.

Kristiansen said he’s speaking out now to show it’s not just women who are victims. But he also said he’s worried about due process for the accused.

“Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of a lynch mob mentality, especially if you’re innocent,” Kristiansen said.

The Washington House and Senate are currently reviewing their sexual harassment policies and holding trainings for staff and members. In November, more than 200 women signed a letter calling on legislative leaders to address a culture at the Capitol they say too often protects harassers.

Copyright 2018 Northwest News Network

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.
Austin Jenkins
Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."
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