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Vito J. Lopez is accused of sexual harassment but still has a high-powered government job.
Apparently, having sex with a consenting 17-year-old student is serious enough to get you thrown in jail, but if you have a more powerful job, then sexually harassing a 14-year-old is totally cool.
Vito J. Lopez, a Brooklyn assemblyman, is accused of making sleazy comments about his 14-year-old intern, the New York Daily News reported several days ago. The news broke because a different staffer, 24-year-old Chloe Rivera, said that Lopez ogled the intern and told Chloe to dress like the 14-year-old, she claims.
Chloe's mother even called 911 to report his behavior. “(Lopez) was telling Chloe that he liked the way this girl was dressed and she was dressed in a very sexy way,” a source with knowledge of the call told the Daily News.
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Yet police declined to file charges and Lopez still has a job. The National Organization for Women is now calling on Lopez to resign, the Daily News said.
Shockingly, this is not the first time that Lopez's behavior has been called out by concerned female employees. In 2012, Sheldon Silver, the New York State Assembly speaker, authorized a secret payment of $103,080 to settle sexual harassment claims against Lopez, the New York Times reported. In a separate report, the Times interviewed five women who said that Lopez told them not to wear bras to work. Instead, he requested they wear short skirts and high heels, the women allege.
Yet those claims seem to have fallen on deaf ears. And Lopez has repeatedly denied the allegations. "Will the political world continue to prioritize his point of view over those of his young female staffers?," writes Katie Baker in Jezebel.