California Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra said Monday he is resigning effective immediately after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment and unwanted touching, after previously announcing he would wait until the end of the legislative term.
“Upon further reflection during the recent holiday weekend, and conversations with family, friends, supporters, I have decided to resign earlier from the State Assembly effective immediately, which was my original intention,” Bocanegra said in a statement released Monday.
Bocanegra, a Democrat who represented part of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, first claimed that he was serving out the legislative term to save the state the cost of a special election and to prevent his district from “losing representation.”
In announcing his immediate resignation, he said he hopes his district will have a new representative “sooner rather than later.”
"I believed in our system of 'innocent until proven guilty' and that the truth would come out clearing my name and reputation. But clearly, the principle of 'innocent until proven guilty' has been temporarily lost in a hurricane of political opportunism among the self-righteous in my case — to the detriment of both the accuser and the accused," he said.
Bocanegra first announced his intention to resign last week as the Los Angeles Times reported that six women had accused him of making unwanted sexual advances.