At Issue: April 29 - State Rep. Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Erin Murphy in Studio

April 29, 2018 07:02 PM

Republican State Rep. Rod Hamilton Accused of Sexual Misconduct

State Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake) is being accused of sexual misconduct and has been suspended from his role as chair of the House Agriculture Finance committee. 

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A 23-year-old woman tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS political reporter Tom Hauser she met with Hamilton earlier this month to discuss sexual assault legislation. The woman, who is a survivor of a previous sexual assault, says Hamilton insisted she stay at his St. Paul apartment instead of drive back to Bemidji in a snowstorm. The woman says it was there that Hamilton touched her ears, face and hands and kissed her on the cheek. The woman says she later cried herself to sleep. She filed a report with St. Paul Police, but a spokesman says there's not enough evidence to file criminal charges against Hamilton.

Hamilton issued a written apology, denying any sexual assault took place. He claims he was trying to offer her "comfort" and "compassion", and apologized for any further pain the woman experienced as a result of his actions. 

The allegations against Hamilton came just one day after the House put new policies in place dealing with sexual harassment claims against members. The nonpartisan House HR Department will launch an investigation, and leaders in both parties have been notified. The policies cover not only House members and staff, but also third parties such as lobbyists, media members and visitors. 

Erin Murphy, DFL Candidate for Governor, in Studio

Our series of conversations with candidates for Minnesota governor continues this week with DFL candidate Erin Murphy. Murphy was the first candidate to jump in to the race, shortly after the 2016 elections concluded. Murphy has represented her St. Paul house district since 2007 and served as House Majority leader for two years. Murphy is also a licensed nurse and past executive director of the Minnesota Nurses Association.

Murphy discusses her campaign, the issues she's focusing on and her stances on topics such as gun control, health care and taxes. 

Credits

Amanda Theisen

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