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US Congressman Tony Cardenas says sexual abuse lawsuit dropped

Posted at 10:10 PM, Jul 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-04 09:02:24-04

US Rep. Tony Cardenas and his attorney said Wednesday that a young woman who accused the congressman of sexually assaulting her when she was 16 has dropped her lawsuit.

Cardenas, a Democrat who represents part of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, has always strenuously denied the claim of the young woman, who alleged the incident took place in 2007 during a time when he was an LA City Council member — and a person who was one of her mentors.

In a statement Wednesday evening, Cardenas said all “false allegations have been dismissed and these claims can never be filed again.”

“There is no place in our society for such untruths,” Cardenas added. “In this case the truth prevailed and I humbly thank my family, community and constituents who know that I am a person of integrity.”

The Los Angeles Times first reported the withdrawal of the lawsuit after the court hearing Wednesday.

At the time of the original accusation, Cardenas’ lawyer Patricia Glaser said the lawmaker was “sickened and distraught by these horrific allegations, which are 100%, categorically untrue.”

The initial lawsuit did not identify the people involved. But the girl alleged that she had been a “star teenage athlete” who met the politician at a golf tournament when she was 14, and that he became “an integral part” of her and her family’s lives.

In January 2007, while playing golf with the politician at the Hillcrest Country Club, the 16-year-old said she collapsed.

Court documents state that the young woman said the politician handed her water with an unusual taste before the incident. She played a round of golf with him, and four or five hours into her round she “suddenly collapsed to the ground but did not lose consciousness,” according to the suit.

The lawsuit alleged the politician fondled her as he drove her to the hospital, touching her vagina and rubbing her breasts.

Glaser said in a statement Wednesday that the claim was dismissed with prejudice and that there was “zero money exchanged.”

“The case against my client has been dismissed with prejudice and cannot be filed again – there was zero money exchanged,” she said in the statement.

“This is a complete victory and total vindication for Congressman Cardenas. We are proud of his courage in standing strong in the face of allegations against the Congressman that were demonstrably untrue.”

Glaser could not immediately be reached for further comment Wednesday evening. CNN has reached out to the young woman in the lawsuit for comment.

Cardenas’ former chief of staff, Jose Cornejo, confirmed to CNN in a telephone interview Wednesday night that the lawsuit had been dismissed.

In May, the LA Times reported that Lisa Bloom, the original attorney for the young woman, announced in court paperwork that her firm could no longer continue representing her in the lawsuit.

The reason for withdrawing was unknown.

This story has been updated.