Another woman went public Tuesday revealing that she was a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.).
Deanna Maher, former deputy chief of staff for Conyers, told the Detroit News that during the time she worked for Conyers, from 1997 to 2005, the Democratic congressman sexually harassed or abused her on multiple occasions.
The first alleged incident happened in 1997 after an event for the Congressional Black Caucus, she said. Following the event, Maher said Conyers asked if she wanted to share a hotel room so they could have sex.
Then, in 1998, Maher said Conyers fondled her as he drove a car from the Detroit airport. Finally, Maher said Conyers touched her under her dress in 1999.
Maher said she was reluctant to tell her story because of Conyers’ status as a powerful man in Washington.
"I didn’t report the harassment because it was clear nobody wanted to take it seriously. John Conyers is a powerful man in Washington, and nobody wanted to cross him,” she said.
How did Conyers’ office respond?
Just as with other allegations, Conyers’ attorney Arnold Reed denied Maher’s claims. He said:
At best, they are uncorroborated. At worst, they’re just not believable. When you consider that they’re flying down I-75, he is driving and has time to do all of that, they get pulled over by a police officer, and she doesn’t tell him what’s going on?
Any female or male that comes forward and says anybody harasses them, that is serious. Those things are not to be taken lightly. But we have to be able to at least have some corroboration if we’re going to be saying my client did something wrong.
At the end of the day, he’s confident that he will be exonerated because he maintains that he has not done anything wrong.
Allegations against the 88-year-old Conyers first surfaced last week when BuzzFeed News reported on a settlement Conyers made in 2015 with a former staffer who said the congressman fired her for rejecting his sexual advances. Conyers confirmed the payout, but denied the allegations. BuzzFeed then reported the story of a second woman who accused Conyers of sexual harassment.
Conyers resigned his position as the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee on Sunday as pressure mounts for him to resign from Congress altogether.