Revenge in a pornographic kind of way


Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, R-Scottsdale, stands at her desk on the floor of the Arizona House of Representatives, before a vote to expel Rep. Don Shooter, R-Yuma. Ugenti-Rita’s allegations of sexual harassment by Shooter led a host of women and one man to air similar allegations against him. /Photo by Katie Campbell/Arizona Capitol Times

Violation against former House staffer depends on time crime was committed

By Ben Giles | Arizona Capitol Times

Rep. Anthony Kern wants prosecutors to determine if a former legislative staffer violated Arizona law by sharing sexually explicit messages about Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita.

But whether the law was potentially violated depends on when the messages were sent.

Brian Townsend, a former House staffer who last worked as policy director in 2015, told attorneys investigating sexual harassment in the chamber that he shared “unsolicited, sexually explicit communications” in a manner Townsend said was intended to “hurt and humiliate” Ugenti-Rita, to whom he is now engaged.Kern, R-Glendale, drew attention to Townsend’s testimony while voting to expel Rep. Don Shooter, a Yuma Republican who’s pattern of sexually harassing behavior was the focus of the investigation.

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