Another ex-staffer has accused Rep. John Conyers Jr., a Democrat from Michigan and the longest-serving member of the House, of sexual harassment.
Deanna Maher told The Detroit News that Conyers, now 88, made unwanted advances toward her three times during the time she worked for him between 1997 and 2005. Maher alleged that Conyers inappropriately touched her in a car in 1998 and then again under her dress in 1999. She also said that she refused Conyers’ offer to share a hotel room with him to have sex.
“I didn’t have a room, and he had me put in his hotel suite,” Maher told The Detroit News.
Maher is the second former Conyers staffer to come forward in the past week. BuzzFeed News reported last week another former staffer had alleged that Conyers fired her because she wouldn’t “succumb to [his] sexual advances,” detailing a secretive process that allows Congress to sweep sexual assault and harassment allegations under the rug.
Conyers, who has served as a Congressman since 1965 and is considered among the most influential Democrats in the House, has denied all allegations, and his attorney questioned why Maher would have continued to work for Conyers for so long despite the alleged sexual harassment.
Maher said she was discouraged from coming forward because she needed the job. A former Detroit Free Press reporter told The Detroit News that Maher had told him of the alleged abuse long ago, but she refused to go on the record.
On Sunday, Conyers stepped down as the leading Democratic lawmaker on the House Judiciary Committee for the duration of an investigation into alleged harassment of his former employees.