A freshman Republican member of Congress is facing new accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct that allegedly took place while he was a student at a Virginia Christian college.
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), 25, was elected last November in the face of allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct by women who dated him or knew him. World Magazine, a Christian publication, detailed the allegations in an August story. In October, a group of women who went to school with Cawthorn at Patrick Henry College signed a letter saying he had “established a reputation for predatory behavior” at the college.
The latest allegations against Cawthorn were made in a story in Buzzfeed News, which said it spoke with more than three dozen people, including more than two dozen former Patrick Henry students, who “described or corroborated instances of sexual harassment and misconduct on campus, in Cawthorn’s car, and at his house near campus.”
Katrina Krulikas, who did not attend Patrick Henry but dated Cawthorn, described an encounter with Cawthorn to Buzzfeed.
“He ends up asking me to come sit closer to him, sit on his lap. I laughed it off as a joke, and he says he just wants to get closer and talk, so I sit on his lap. At that point he tries to kiss me and I say no,” Krulikas, 23, told BuzzFeed. “And we talk a little bit more, and then he ends up grabbing me really quickly, kind of, like, surprisingly, so that I couldn't really have time to get away.”
Krulikas said her hair got stuck in his wheelchair – Cawthorn was partially paralyzed in an accident – and that she had to rip it out to get away.
The letter signed by a group of former Patrick Henry students last year said Cawthorn would “invite unsuspecting women on ‘joy rides’ in his white Dodge Challenger.”
“Cawthorn would take young women to secluded areas, lock the doors, and proceed to make unwanted sexual advances,” the letter said. “It became a regular warning in the female dorms not to be caught alone with Madison Cawthorn.”
Cawthorn last September denied the allegations.
“I have never done anything sexually inappropriate in my life,” Cawthorn said. “If I have a daughter, I want her to grow up in a world where people know to explicitly ask before touching her. If I had a son, I want him to be able to grow up in a world where he would not be called a sexual predator for trying to kiss someone.”
A Cawthorn spokesperson told the Daily Caller last fall: “Sadly, in the Kavanaugh age, nothing will satisfy a woke mob that decides someone is guilty of sexual misconduct until proven innocent. … There is a big difference between a failed advance and being forceful, to the extent that’s possible when you’re a paraplegic. If being guilty of an awkward, failed advance is a disqualifying event every male in public office should resign.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Joe Raedle/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.