New York City mayoral candidate Scott Stringer has been accused of sexual assault by an accuser that he claims to have had a “consensual” relationship with, according to The Washington Examiner.
Stringer, who currently serves as the city’s comptroller, has vehemently denied the allegation that is about 20 years old, saying that he and accuser Jean Kim had an “on-and-off” relationship.
“I believe it was a mutual, consensual relationship, Stringer said during a press conference where his wife, Elyse Buxbaum, stood alongside him.
“I never used any force, made any threats, or did any of the things that are alleged,” he said going on to explain that he “maintained an amicable relationship for many years afterward, until 2013, when we could not find her a role on my campaign for comptroller.”
According to the Examiner, the relationship in question predated him meeting his wife, who is now 60. Kim and Stringer were 30 and 41 respectively at the time of their relationship.
Kim made her allegation earlier on Wednesday, saying that while she worked as an unpaid intern during Stringer’s bid for public advocate the now mayoral candidate “repeatedly groped” her, “put his hands on [her] thighs and between [her] legs,” and “demanded to know why [she] wouldn’t have sex with him.”
Stringer responded to Kim’s assertions saying that while he “firmly believes that all survivors of harassment have the right to come forward” while maintaining that the claims “aren’t true.”
Dianne Morales, who is also in the race to be New York City’s next mayor called it a “really unfortunate moment in this race,” for Kim to come forward.
“As a survivor myself … we’ve all been triggered and really have spent the time since hearing the news checking in on each other. I think I’m still really processing. I’m not focused on Scott Stringer. I’m really focused on what this woman has to endure,” Morales said.