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Report: Harassment Allegations Against Latvala Could Open Door To Other Probes

Dec 20, 2017
Originally published on December 19, 2017 6:59 pm

The Florida Senate has received a report that concludes there is probable cause for some of the sexual harassment allegations against state Senator Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater). The Special Master’s report also opens the door to other investigations, including a possible criminal one.

According to the Special Master’s 35-page report, top Senate staffer Rachel Perrin Rogers’ complaint focuses on different encounters with Latvala, which includes him “grunting and growling” at her, commenting on her attractiveness, and physically groping her.

Special Master Ronald Swanson also points to another witness’ testimony, detailing a history of exchanging “physical contact or sexual intimacy for support of legislative initiatives.” Swanson also states that not only violates ethics rules, it may even violate laws prohibiting public corruption.

So, he recommends turning these allegations over to law enforcement for further investigation. His report also supports an internal investigation by the Senate Rules committee as well as another by the Florida Commission on Ethics.

Meanwhile, Tiffany Cruz, an attorney for Rogers, says the report validates her client’s claims and she’s calling for Latvala’s removal from the Senate.

Latvala has said he has been known to tell some women they look "hot" but that he's never touched anyone against their will.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

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