Emboldened by reporter Allison Donahue’s account, Michigan state Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D) came forward Tuesday morning with her own accusation of sexual harassment against fellow Sen. Peter Lucido (R).
According to Crain’s Detroit Business, McMorrow’s episode happened on orientation day for new senators, two days after the 2018 election. McMorrow walked over and introduced herself to Lucido.
“He shook my hand and with his other hand held my low back with his fingers on my hips, effectively upper rear, and we had a back-and-forth conversation,” McMorrow said.
She recalled Lucido asking her where she was from. She told him, and named the Republican incumbent she’d unseated. She said that he looked her body up and down before saying “I can see why.”
Another Democratic senator, Rosemary Bayer, remembers witnessing Lucido wrapping his arm around McMorrow while they talked.
“This is the age of consent, right?” she said to Crain’s. “You have to have permission. You can’t be touching people.”
McMorrow also told her husband the day the incident happened; he confirmed her account.
Lucido denies the allegation, calling it “untrue and politically motivated.”
McMorrow plans to report the incident to the Senate Business Office, the same entity that is investigating Donahue’s accusation about Lucido telling a group of high school boys that they “could have some fun” with her while she was trying to interview him.
McMorrow credits Donahue with pushing her to come forward. The lawmaker said she felt “guilty” after reading Donahue’s account, that she may have been able to prevent Lucido from humiliating her if she’d reported him at the time. McMorrow added that she was infuriated by Lucido’s attempts to discredit Donahue’s account — he accused Donahue of misquoting him.
The two incidents are not the only evidence of Lucido’s boorish and misogynistic behavior around the statehouse. Bayer, the senator who witnessed Lucido touching McMorrow, said that he was completely out of control during the sexual harassment training seminar for the new lawmakers.
“What was stunning to me was for him to stand and make really kind of obnoxious comments during the sexual harassment training about how this is a boy’s club and how things aren’t going to change here and he can’t control his interns because they don’t get paid,” Bayer said. “It was really obnoxious.”