Connecticut Republican politician Christopher von Keyserling was having a political disagreement with a female colleague when the unnamed 57-year-old woman said to him that we’re living in a “a new world,” politically speaking. To that, the 71-year-old member of the representative town meeting and an outspoken commentator on town affairs allegedly responded, “I love this new world, I no longer have to be politically correct,” according to an arrest warrant, says Time.
According to Greenwich Time, she replied that if the man was “proud of that I can’t help you,” then headed off to her office. The arrest warrant states that von Keyserling called her a “lazy, bloodsucking union employee,” to which she dropped an F bomb. According to the warrant, the politician followed the woman into her office after the verbal altercation with “an evil look in his eyes.”
At that point, the police arrest warrant says, he “reached in from behind to place his hand between her legs and pinch her in the groin area,” according to the publication. “She threatened to hit him if he tried to pinch her again, and he replied, ‘It would be your word against mine and nobody will believe you,'” says Time.
The incident happened on Dec. 8, according to Time, but the victim didn’t work up the courage to go to authorities until Dec. 16. She feared retribution, according to Time, as well as negative public attention. But she decided to follow through when she heard that similar incidents had happened to other employees at the hands of von Keyserling. Security camera footage backed up the woman’s story, according to police, and the arrest was finally made on Wednesday.
Phil Russell, a lawyer for von Keyserling, is defending the politician’s alleged inappropriate actions, telling the Greenwich Time, “In almost 30 years of practicing law in this town, I would say Mr. von Keyserling is the one person I would never suspect of having any inappropriate sexual predilections.”
He added, “There was a playful gesture, in front of witnesses. It was too trivial to be considered anything of significance. To call it a sexual assault is not based in reality.” Apparently, it wasn’t all that trivial, as von Keyserling is now charged with fourth-degree sexual assault. He posted $2,500 bond and was released to appear in court on Jan. 25, according to Time.
In court, Von Keyserling plans to enter a plea of not guilty, Russell said, concluding, “It’s a sad situation.”