Alaskan says Justice Thomas groped her in 1999

first_imgAn Anchorage attorney says U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas groped her 17 years ago, when she was a scholar in a post-college program in Washington, D.C.Listen Now Moira Smith, now general counsel and vice president of the gas utility Enstar, says the justice grabbed her rear before a dinner party at her then-boss’s house in a Virginia suburb. She wrote in an Oct. 7 Facebook post that “to my complete shock, he groped me while I was setting the table, suggesting I should sit ‘right next to him’.”Smith’s post came as the country was reacting to a video tape of Donald Trump boasting he could grab women with impunity. Thousands of women took to social media to tell their accounts of being harassed and assaulted by men, many of whom were never held to account.Smith later took down her Facebook page. National Law Journal broke the story, after a series of interviews with Smith. Smith’s friends said today she’s not talking to reporters today but she issued a statement:“As the mother of a young daughter and son, I am coming forward to show that it is important to stand up for yourself and tell the truth. When powerful men commit sexual assault, they count on their victims keeping it a secret. When Justice Thomas touched me inappropriately and without my consent, I was 23 years old – and felt there was nothing I could do. Seventeen years later, it is clear that sexual harassment, misconduct and assault continue to be pervasive, having an impact on all women.  I choose to speak out now in the hope that this will change; that my daughter will live never having to experience these wrongs, and so that both my children might experience a world where no one is above reproach or justice.”National Law Journal reports that Thomas denies the accusation and called it “preposterous.”Anchorage Assemblyman Bill Evans says he’s known Smith since she was an intern at the law firm where he worked, Dorsey and Whitney. Evans says Smith is honest and trust-worthy.She’s “certainly as credible as anyone I know,” Evans said. “I believe entirely in what she said.”Smith clerked for state Supreme Court Justice Dana Fabe. Before Enstar, Smith worked at the firm Ashburn & Mason in Anchorage. Managing shareholder Thomas Wang spoke highly of Smith and said he has no reason to doubt her credibility.Assemblyman Evans says he and Smith run in the same social circles and he saw her original Facebook post a few weeks ago.“It was shocking and very saddening,” he said.Thomas is in his 25th year on the Supreme Court. The Senate confirmed him in 1991 despite law professor Anita Hill’s accusations of sexual harassment.last_img

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