Sexual assault allegation investigated after Democratic meeting

Making “progress” among the progressives. Via the Spokesman Review

A longtime progressive activist was removed from party positions earlier this year when reports surfaced alleging he sexually assaulted a young volunteer after a state Democratic Party meeting in Walla Walla.

Police in Walla Walla investigated reports that the volunteer, a college student who isn’t old enough to legally drink, had consumed so much alcohol she was incapable of providing consent, and therefore was sexually assaulted when she had intercourse with the man, who is nearly 30 years older. Eventually, police and prosecutors decided against filing charges, because they determined they wouldn’t be able to get a conviction for second-degree sexual assault.

Both the alleged victim and the man dismissed from his post have questioned aspects of the state party’s handling of the incident, which occurred after the Washington Democratic Party’s quarterly meeting in Walla Walla, where state, county and legislative district party officials had gathered on April 21 and 22.

The young volunteer consumed multiple alcoholic drinks at a pair of post-meeting gatherings and the local party officials present didn’t intervene – even though many knew she was underage. The young woman later went to the hotel room of the King County Democratic Party officer, whom she knew from work on progressive causes, including the state Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.

The two had sexual intercourse that he insists was consensual, although in hindsight “a mistake.” She later became convinced she was too drunk to give her consent and was manipulated by someone she previously trusted.

Walla Walla police eventually determined the evidence didn’t clearly show the alcohol rendered her so mentally incapacitated – a key element of a charge of second-degree sexual assault – that he would be convicted.

But even before that happened, the longtime activist was forced out of key positions in the King County Democratic Party and the Washington Progressive Caucus.