KUSA - State Rep. Steve Lebsock has issued a second apology in response to sexual harassment allegations against him.
On Friday, State Rep. Faith Winter told 9NEWS that Lebsock made sexually suggestive comments to her at a party in mid-2016. She says two other women in the state capitol approached her to say they were also harassed by Lebsock. Those women are former legislative aide Cassie Tanner and former lobbyist Holly Tarry.
In a statement posted on his campaign website Saturday, Lebsock says it doesn't matter that he thought his words were playful or that he was flirting or joking, or that he thought that what he was saying was OK. He says the only thing that matters is how he made the women feel, and that he is sorry.
Later that same day, Winter, Tanner, and Tarry released a joint statement to the media in response to Lebsock's apology. In it, they say they appreciate Lebsock's apology and that he began to take responsibility for his actions. But they also criticize him for concentrating on his words and not mentioning that there was physical contact in at least two cases.
Lebsock concluded his statement by saying he will make an announcement regarding his position as state rep. and his candidacy for state treasurer by the end of the month.
Here is the full text of Lebsock's statement:
"I am writing this in response to the Denver Post story and other stories told to media outlets by three women...Faith, Holly and Cassie.
I have come to realize that it does not matter that, at the time, I may have perceived my words as playful. It does not matter that, at the time, I may have felt that we were flirting. It does not matter that, at the time, I may have felt what I said was ok. It does not matter that I may not remember the exact words which were hurtful. It does not matter that, at the time, I thought we were joking. The only thing that matters is how I made these three women feel. I am sorry.
The best thing we can do with our lives is to relieve someone's pain. If that is true, and I believe it to be true. Then, the worst thing we can do in our life is cause someone pain. Last night, I realized the pain I have caused Faith, Holly and Cassie.
I am sorry.
I will make a statement regarding my current position as a State Representative and State Treasurer candidate by November 30, 2017.
Here is the full text of the statement from Tanner, Tarry and Winter:
"We appreciate Representative Lebsock's apology and for him to begin to take responsibility for his actions.
However, we want to point out that he has said he did nothing criminal. Indeed sexual harassment is criminal.
He also said people are tired of dirty politics implying the three of us were engaging in dirty politics. Women coming forward with their stories of harassment is not dirty politics it is the truth.
His apology was about how he made us feel but he never apologizes for his actions. Additionally, he concentrates on words but in at least two cases there was also physical contact. Touching with out consent isn't playful or flirty it is harassment or assault.
Finally, how many apologies does it take? Previously, Representative Lebsock apologized to Representative Winter and promised that the behavior would stop but it has continued. An apology before did not result in a change of behavior.
We hope that Representative Lebsock takes full responsibility for his actions against us and many other women. Because this is a serious pattern of behavior and we know other women have been involved as well we feel it is best for him to resign.
Cassie, Holly and Faith"
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