Another lawmaker accused of sexual harassment

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DENVER — The ongoing sexual harassment scandal at the Colorado State Capitol continues.

Late Thursday, State Rep. Susan Lontine went public with her accusation of State Sen. Larry Crowder.

Lotine represents Denver and Crowder represents Otero County.

“When other sexual harassment accusations began to focus public attention on the culture at the Capitol, I reflected on my own experiences and filed a formal complaint against State Senator Larry Crowder. The complaint detailed unwanted physical contact on the floor of the House of Representatives and an inappropriate sexual comment. A third-party investigation of the complaint supported my accusations.

I hoped the matter could be handled privately, that Sen. Crowder would acknowledge that his actions were unacceptable, that he would accept an appropriate punishment and that the investigation would be a part of the record should a pattern of behavior exist or present itself.

But in a meeting this week with Sen. Crowder and Senate President Kevin Grantham, Sen. Crowder expressed little remorse and he didn’t take responsibility for his actions. Fearing my continued silence would enable attempts to gloss over this serious issue, I have chosen to speak up because the public needs to know.”

Crowder’s spokesman did not immediately respond to comment.

Crowder did respond to KRCC.

“I offered Rep. Lontine an apology, and it was a sincere apology, in an effort to show respect for her perspective and restore the cordial working relationship we have had,” Crowder said in a written statement.

“Rep. Lontine accepted my apology, we shook hands and I believed the matter was concluded. I’m not going to speculate about why she now wants to make this into a press event, despite my good faith effort to understand her viewpoint and make amends.

“I consider the matter resolved and will continue to do the work my constituents sent me here to do.”

Several lawmakers have been accused of sexual harassment within the last six months at the State Capitol.

Rep. Faith Winter (as well as two lobbyists) accused Rep. Steve Lebsock of harassment.

State Sen. Randy Baumgardner and State Sen. Jack Tate were accused of harassment.

State Rep. Paul Rosenthal was accused of and cleared of sexual harassment by investigators.

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