‘UNWELCOME PHYSICAL CONTACT’

Oregon Lawmaker Resigns Over Groping Allegations

A Republican state senator in Oregon has resigned after an investigation uncovered numerous sexual-harassment complaints against him. Sen. Jeff Kruse denied any wrongdoing in a statement released late Thursday but said he was stepping down so his constituents could “receive the fullest representation they are due.” The lawmaker had faced calls to step down from fellow Republicans after numerous women accused him of unwanted hugging, groping, and other “unwelcome physical contact” in a 51-page report detailing the alleged misconduct. Kruse faced several allegations from his own colleagues in Oregon, including Democratic senators Elizabeth Steiner Hayward and Sara Gelser, who alleged Kruse leaned into her and put his arms and hands across her breasts on the House floor. Kruse reportedly told an investigator reviewing the allegations that he believed his behavior was “instinctual.” “It’s not easy to change when you have been doing something for 67 years,” he was quoted as saying in the report.