A second woman has come forward accusing Rep. Ruben Kihuen of sexual misconduct.
The Nevada Democrat allegedly touched the woman’s legs or buttocks on three occasions without her consent and sent hundreds of text messages that were sexually suggestive, the Nevada Independent reported Wednesday.
According to the text messages, Kihuen asked her to sit on his lap during committee hearings and asked her on multiple occasions to spend the night with her. He also asked her in one text message the color of her “panties” and, when she refused to tell him, responded “Makes me sad” and “My day can’t go on without knowing."
Kihuen also noted her personal appearance, making comments like: “You’re absolutely beautiful and unbelievable sexy” and “You looked so beautiful tonight ... irresistible.” He also once told her she looked “fabulous” in black, but said he was certain she looked “even better naked.”
Kihuen often used emojis in his texts to her, particularly kissy-faces with hearts, the heart-eye emoji, and red hearts.
The woman said she rejected or ignored the suggestions or proposals, and utilized several tactics including discounting the comment as a joke, ignoring him, or sometimes telling him “no.”
“I don’t think Ruben thinks what he did was wrong,” she told the Nevada Independent. “Like, I think he just thought he was playing around, which, I don’t think he realized the position he probably put people in.”
Kihuen did not confirm or deny these allegations when approached by the Nevada Independent.
“During my ten years in the Legislature, I dated several different women,” Kihuen said in a statement to the Nevada Independent. “Out of respect for their privacy, I won’t discuss my communications or any other details of those relationships.”
This is not the first time Kihuen has been accused of sexual misconduct. Earlier this month, BuzzFeed News reported Kihuen’s former finance director accused him of unwanted sexual advances, which were reported to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
In response to initial report, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., called for Kihuen to resign. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., also called for his resignation shortly thereafter. Kihuen denied the charges.