Missouri candidate says lawsuit a punishment for allegation
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Missouri House candidate being sued by another unopposed colleague who she has publicly accused of rape says she believes the lawsuit could discourage other sexual assault victims from coming forward.
Steven Roberts Jr.'s lawsuit accusing Cora Faith Walker of defamation was filed two days after a special prosecutor declined to pursue charges against Roberts, saying the evidence doesn't support Walker's claims.
Walker, who is married, alleges Roberts sexually assaulted her when they met at an apartment in August to discuss working together in the upcoming legislative session. Both Democrats are running unopposed for the Missouri House.
Roberts has said he and Walker had consensual sex.
Walker told The Associated Press by telephone Friday that she believes the lawsuit is meant to "punish" her and that she has hired counsel.