With just two days left until New York’s State Primary, State Senate candidate Julia Salazar came forward this morning to say that a forthcoming story would out her as a sexual-assault survivor, in an attempt to “cast doubt” on her allegations.
Salazar, a 27-year-old Latina Democratic Socialist running to replace a long-time incumbent, has faced immense scrutiny in recent weeks; stories have included everything from accusations that she lied about her religious identity, immigration status, and class background, to dredged-up lawsuits involving former Mets player Keith Hernandez. Salazar attempted to get ahead of the latest one, which was eventually published in the Daily Caller, by posting her version before the story broke.
“I’ve been informed that a story is about to run which identifies me as a victim of sexual assault,” Salazar wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “Before this runs, I want to come forward and confirm that I was a victim of sexual assault by David Keyes - the Prime Minister of Israel’s spokesperson to foreign media. This story appears to be an effort to cast doubt upon my, and other women’s, accusations against Keyes.”
“I’ve spoken to other journalists who were investigating accusations against David Keyes on background about this experience, but have never spoken on the record about it until now,” Salazar’s statement continues. “There’s a reason women don’t often come forward after a traumatic experience – because of the triggering and vicious responses that follow. I strongly believe sexual assault survivors should not be outed in this way, and am saddened by the effect this story may have on other women.”
I’m about to be outed as a survivor of sexual assault. Here is what I have to say about that:Julia Salazar for State Senate (@SalazarSenate18) September 11, 2018
Julia Salazar has campaigned on some incredibly powerful policies and she's been punished for it relentlessly. No one deserves to be treated this way.Laura Marsh (@lmlauramarsh) September 11, 2018
The poster — identified as a former Columbia student and supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement — also said that two other women told her similar stories about their experiences with Keyes after she came forward.
According to the Daily Caller, a source who said he was a “former friend” of Salazar’s tipped them off to the Facebook post and attributed it to her. They also claim that they reached out to Salazar’s camp, who confirmed the story and did not request anonymity:
TheDCNF reached out to Salazar’s campaign to ask about the Keyes accusation, at which point her spokesman confirmed that Salazar accused Keyes of sexual assault. The spokesman never asked TheDCNF to withhold Salazar’s identity.
Update, September 11 at 5:50 p.m.:
Shayndi Raice, a national news reporter for The Wall Street Journal, retweeted Salazar’s statement this evening, adding that she “also had a terrible encounter with David Keyes.”
“The man had absolutely no conception of the word ‘no.’ No matter how often I said no, he would not stop pushing himself on me. I was able to extricate myself quickly and it was a very brief and uncomfortable moment but I knew as I walked away I had encountered a predator,” Raice continued. “In subsequent conversations, I had discovered his mistreatment of women was an open secret.”
I also had a terrible encounter with David Keyes once and 100% believe her. I knew this would come out about him at some point.Shayndi Raice (@Shayndi) September 11, 2018
Keyes again denied the allegations, saying: “All of the accusations are deeply misleading and many of them are categorically false.” The paper also obtained two emails from Keyes to women in which he apologized “for being less than gentlemanly.”
Update, September 13 at 11:47 a.m.: After 12 women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct, Keyes has announced that he’s taking “time off” from his job.
“In light of the false and misleading accusations against me and in order not to distract from the important work of the Prime Minister, I have asked to take time off to clear my name,” he said in a statement published by the Times of Israel. “I am fully confident that the truth will come out.”
This is a developing story that will be updated as more details become available.
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