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Oregon Lawmaker Accused of Harassment Resigns

Oregon state senator accused of inappropriate behavior by female colleagues resigns.

Posted: Feb 8, 2018 5:23 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - The Latest on an Oregon state senator accused of inappropriate behavior (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

An Oregon state senator says he is resigning after an investigation determined he had harassed multiple women in the Capitol building with prolonged hugging, groping and other unwelcome physical contact.

Sen. Jeff Kruse said in a statement Thursday that he denies the allegations, but he is stepping down so his colleagues may focus on serving Oregonians without distraction.

An investigative report released Tuesday documented allegations that he harassed female colleagues while talking to them in public areas of the Senate.

Kruse, a Republican from Roseburg, Oregon, had been stripped of his committee assignments by the Senate president late last year because of the complaints.

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6:10 a.m.

An Oregon legislator first elected more than two decades ago is facing sanctions after allegations of inappropriate behavior that one female colleague says spanned years.

Sen. Sara Gelser, a Democrat from the college town of Corvallis, says Sen. Jeff Kruse has harassed many women in the Capitol through prolonged hugs and other unwanted touching. She filed an informal complaint two years ago and Kruse was warned by Legislature's lawyers and human resources not to touch women in the Capitol.

But he didn't stop, Gelser says.

Last fall, Gelser filed a formal complaint against Kruse following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations against men in power.

An investigative report released Tuesday documented wider harassment.

Kruse didn't return an email seeking comment from The Associated Press but has said previously that he won't step down.

___

Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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