A former insurance lobbyist has accused Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) of sexual misconduct during a dinner they both attended in downtown Minneapolis in 2017, the Washington Post reported Friday.
Nicolette Davis, who was 25 at the time and a lobbyist for the insurance company Aflac, told the Post that Reed’s unwanted advances occurred at at a dinner at an Irish pub in Minneapolis, which was organized to support then-Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN).
Davis, who alleges that Reed was drunk at the time, told the Post that the congressman rubbed her back, unsnapped her bra with his hand over her blouse and ultimately placed his hand on her thigh.
Reed declined Davis’ recollection of the events in a statement to the Post: “This account of my actions is not accurate.”
An unnamed person who was at the dinner corroborated Davis’ account to the Post, adding that Reed was allegedly escorted out of the restaurant after the alleged incident.
Davis said she texted a friend she worked with as Reed was allegedly inappropriately touching her. That friend, Jessica Strieter Elting, confirmed the conversation with Davis to the Post, and they spoke more about it afterward.
Davis’ boss at Aflac, Brad Knox, also told the Post that she brought the incident to his attention.
Davis eventually left the lobbying industry and is currently serving as a second lieutenant in the Army. Her military training motivated her to speak out about her experience. “I need to always act in good conscience and set the right example for the soldiers I will lead, including younger females,” Davis told the Post.
Reed has been an outspoken advocate for survivors of sexual misconduct, and recently he has been mulling a bid against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who is facing multiple allegations of sexual misconduct himself. Reed, the Post noted, has called for Cuomo to step down and supports an impeachment effort against the governor.