Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Another John Conyers accuser comes forward, saying he groped her in church

WASHINGTON -- Another former staff employee of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, came forward late Monday to publicly accuse the congressman of sexual harassment, saying he once slid his hand up her skirt in church.
Attorney Lisa Bloom, who is representing Marion Brown, the former staffer who first accused Conyers, 88, of sexual harassment, on Monday night made public on Twitter an affidavit from Elisa Grubbs making many of the same accusations.
Conyers, who is being called on by many of his Democratic colleagues to resign, is expected to have an announcement about his future at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday in Detroit.
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In Grubbs' signed statement, she says she worked in various roles for Conyers for some 12 years, from 2001-13, though her name didn't immediately come up in a search for Conyers' staffers during that time period in the service or in the U.S. House quarterly Statement of Disbursements. Some past news accounts have listed her as an employee of Conyers however.
It was also not immediately known whether Grubbs could possibly be one of the people who earlier wrote confidential affidavits on behalf of Brown's complaint which were earlier published by the website BuzzFeed. This is the first time her name has been publicly mentioned in connection with the sexual harassment accusations, however.
She said in the affidavit she saw Conyers groping and stroking Brown's legs and the legs of other women in the office and that she saw Brown shortly after an alleged event in Chicago in 2005 where Brown said Conyers' propositioned her in a hotel room. In the affidavit, Grubbs said Brown told her, "That SOB just wanted me to have sex with him."
She also said she was sitting next to him at church on another occasion when he ran his hand under her skirt and said other people saw him do it.
Conyers' attorney, Arnold Reed of Southfield, dismissed the new claims, noting that Grubbs is a relative of Brown's and calling them "another instance of tomfoolery from the mouth of Harvey Weinstein's attorney." Bloom previously represented Weinstein, a movie mogul accused of sexual harassment by several women, before resigning in recent months.
Reed added that Grubb's claims were "unworthy of any further response."
Conyers has already been accused by at least six women of sexual harassment or other improper behavior, including showing up in his underwear for meetings. In her statement, Grubbs said she was at his home on one occasion when he came out of the bathroom naked.
"I immediately ran out of the house," said Grubbs, who also said Conyers would refer to her and Brown, who is her cousin, as the "Big Leg Cousins" and that the congressman stroked and rubbed her own thighs on occasion.
"When Rep. Conyers inappropriately touched me like this," she said, "my eyes would pop out and I would be stunned in disbelief." 
She said watching Conyers rub women's thighs or buttocks or make comments about their appearance was a "regular part of life while working" in his office. She also said that complaints made to office managers resulted in no action being taken.

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