Vermont state Sen. Norman H. McAllister (R) was arrested Thursday for allegedly forcing women to have sex with him instead of paying for rent, the Burlington Free Press newspaper reported.
McAllister pleaded not guilty on Friday to three counts of sexual assault and three counts of prohibited acts, according to the paper. He was reportedly arrested at the statehouse in Montpelier, Vermont.
McAllister allegedly pressured two women to have sex with him, against their will, in place of paying rent, the paper reported. McAllister, who is also a dairy and goat farmer, is said to have suggested to one of the women that she could lower her rent payments if she had sex with Mexican farm workers, officials told the paper.
In addition to the alleged sexual assault of the two women, court documents obtained by the Free Press accuse McAllister of sexually assaulting a third victim, beginning in 2013.
“We ask people not to rush to judgment,” McAllister’s attorney, Brooks McArthur, told the paper.
Vermont state police told the paper that McAllister was initially arrested because he was suspected of engaging in human trafficking. However, Franklin County State’s Attorney Jim Hughes said Friday that those charges had not been brought against McAllister.
The Free Press reported that, according to the court documents, the investigation of McAllister began Monday and the victims spoke with McAllister this week and got him to admit to the abuse.
“I knew I was forcing you to do something you didn’t want to do,” McAllister allegedly told the woman.
With only a week left in the legislative season, there’s no word on whether McAllister will resign, according to the Free Press.
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