Rep. Steve Lebsock fires back at fellow Democrats in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, Republican hugs

“Thank you to several Republican House members coming up to me and giving me hugs.”
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District 34 Representative Steve Lebsock. The first day of the Colorado state legislative session. Jan 11, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) legislature; copolitics; politics; legislative session; capitol; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;

On the first day of the new legislative session, Colorado Rep. Steve Lebsock, a Democrat accused of multiple instances of sexual harassment, took to Twitter to distance himself from House Democrats this session.

The tweet came in reply to noted Republican insider  Rick Enstrom, who wondered where Lebsock would caucus as Speaker Crisanta Duran told lawmakers they "must confront these issues head-on and successfully reform the culture of the Capitol."

In the tweet, Lebsock also thanked House Republicans who hugged him.

On Monday, Lebsock hand-delivered a 28-page document to his fellow lawmakers defending himself against multiple allegations of sexual harassment, 9News reports. In it, he wrote that one of his accusers had an extramarital affair. He also "graphically details" her sex life, according to 9News, and says she did not report sexual assault by another person at the Capitol.

As for an accusation that he tried to unbutton a woman's blouse at a bar, Lebsock provides an alibi: He was busy playing Ms. Pac Man.

As KUNC reported, toward the end of 2017, Lebsock paid for a voluntary polygraph and released the results along with a statement that said the results prove the accusations are untrue. Polygraph results are not allowed in court because they are considered unreliable.

Lebsock last year was temporarily removed from his chairmanship of the local affairs committee, though he at first maintained it despite the incoming allegations.

Protesters were outside the Capitol for opening day of the session calling for Lebsock's resignation, CBS Denver reports.

House Democrats put Lebsock accuser Rep. Faith Winter front and center by making a bill she co-sponsored the first of 72 they introduced on the first day of the session. It  would create "an insurance program that allows more Coloradans to take paid time off to care for a sick parent or loved one without having to quit their jobs, or risk being fired."

We've reached out to the Colorado Democratic Party and to Rep. Lebsock for comment and will update this story when we learn more.

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