DENVER — A Colorado state representative accused of sexually harassing a fellow Democratic lawmaker and two other women proclaimed he’s the “first elected leader in America to prove his innocence since the #MeToo movement started.”
In a press released posted on his campaign website Thursday, Rep. Steve Lebsock said he passed a polygraph test focusing on questions regarding sexual harassment allegations from both Rep. Faith Winter and former lobbyist, Holly Tarry.
The exam, paid for by Lebsock and conducted by Accountability Polygraph Services, included questions such as claims he grabbed Winter by the elbow after she refused his sexual advances at a party in 2016. Asked if this was true, Lebsock answered “no,” the release read.
"The polygraph shows I’m telling the truth. I didn’t touch her buttocks. I didn’t attempt to touch her arm. I did grab her arm," Lebsock said during a Thursday press conference.
The three other questions asked by the examiner dealt with additional details surrounding the alleged incident, which he claims were answered truthfully.
"It is the examiner's professional opinion that Mr. Lebsock was being truthful on all of the above-listed questions,” the examiner is quoted as stating in the release.
Polygraph testing is controversial, and its use in a judicial setting has been highly restricted in the U.S. Nevertheless, the Thornton Democrat asserts the results have exonerated him.
"Every single sexual harassment allegation that has been in the press and been submitted formally in a formal complaint have [sic] been false, and I’m willing to take a polygraph on every single accuser who comes forward and submits a formal complaint," Lebsock told reporters Thursday.
Lebsock has been unwavering in his denial against the allegations despite growing pressure for him to resign, which he says in some cases has crossed over to harassment and intimidation.
He said he had gotten over 20 texts from one telephone number in the San Francisco area telling him to step down and offering him a six-figure consulting job.
Winters went public with her allegations in November. The Westminster Democrat called a press conference immediately after Lebsock spoke.
She maintains her story and questions the results of the polygraph test. She called Lebsock a "serial offender" and described him as unpredictable.
"Sexual harassment is about power. This is another abuse of power by Representative Lebsock, who is desperate to sway the investigation, but everybody knows what happened.
"[Steve Lebsock] has spend [sic] the last month and the last day changing his story multiple times, in multiple venues and now in multiple formats, including a four-page letter that is full of lies, distortions and contradictions," said Winter in a statement sent to Denver7. "I stand by my statement I made in the past and made again today. I also stand with the 10 other women who have come forward to tell their stories and experiences with Steve Lebsock. I am confident in the independent investigation that is currently underway."
Winters filed a formal complaint against the lawmaker in November, outlining the allegations in a notice to House Speaker Crisanta Duran.
The speaker's office assured both parties its investigation into the allegations remains active. Majority Leader KC Becker, D-Boulder, released the following statement amid Thursday's opposing press events:
Any pertinent information Rep. Lebsock can provide regarding the accusations against him will be forwarded to the independent investigator. That investigation remains active. Rep. Lebsock was given an update on the status of the investigation as recently as Monday. It is typical in such cases for the investigator to talk to the accused after interviews with others have been completed. The investigator called Rep. Lebsock yesterday to schedule that interview, and as of this morning the investigator hadn’t heard back from him yet.
Two other women — former lobbyist Holly Tarry and ex-legislative aide Cassie Tanner — told The Denver Post that Lebsock had harassed them.
Lebsock announced he would be traveling the state and country on a media tour to "shed a bright light on the deep corruption in our political system and discuss how some have determined that they must win at all cost."