Republican Congressional Candidate Carl DeMaio, running in California’s 52nd Congressional District, allegedly once asked a campaign staffer to come into his office and when the staffer did DeMaio, whose back was turned, turned around and masturbated in front of the staffer.
That’s according to Todd Bosnich, a former staffer for the DeMaio campaign, who detailed the allegations of alleged sexual harassment against the Republican candidate, which included making inappropriate advances, massaging and kissing his neck, and groping, in an interview with CNN that aired Friday afternoon.
“I saw his hand —— his penis in his hand,” Bosnich said when describing the incident. “He had a smile on his face. And as soon as I came over, he was looking at me.”
“So there was no mistaking what was happening?” CNN’s Chris Frates asked.
“There was no mistaking whatsoever,” Bosnich said.
DeMaio and the candidate’s campaign has strongly denied Bosnich’s accusations.
Bosnich said the harassment started after an evening with campaign staff at a local bar when DeMaio offered to drive him home. Bosnich said they were making small talk when DeMaio “reached over into my lap and grabbed my crotch.” Bosnich said he pushed DeMaio away.
“I just was shocked because I’d never had anyone do something like that to me, especially in a position of authority and trust,” Bosnich said. “And at the time, I just figured, maybe he was drunk and blew it off. But he progressively and progressively, inappropriate touching incidents continues from there.”
Bosnich also accused DeMaio of trying to trying to stop Bosnich from going forward about the alleged harassment. DeMaio’s campaign manager, according to Bosnich, brushed off Bosnich when he recounted the alleged harassment.
“The campaign manager laughed it off, that’s just the way Carl is, and that if I really felt that uncomfortable, I shouldn’t have let him know that I’m a gay man,” Bosnich told CNN.
Bosnich, as TPM has reported previously, also said the campaign manager tried to stop him from going public about the alleged harassment by trying to get him to sign a nondisclosure agreement in exchange for $50,000.
DeMaio strongly denied the allegations to CNN. When Frates asked DeMaio about Bosnich’s accusations, the candidate repeatedly cut Frates off, saying that the police had not corroborated Bosnich’s claims and said that Bosnich had been fired for plagiarism.
“This is an individual that was let go by our campaign manager for plagiarism, a well-documented plagiarism incident of taking a report from the National journal and passing it off as his own work. He was terminated. He admitted that he plagiarized,” DeMaio said.