Lawmaker launches GoFundMe legal defense fund

New Mexico
Carl Trujillo_1543986619374.jpg.jpg

The Latest on sexual harassment allegations against a New Mexico state legislator (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

A New Mexico state lawmaker is raising money online through GoFundMe to offset legal defense costs after sexual harassment charges against him were dismissed.

State Rep. Carl Trujillo on Tuesday said he spent nearly $106,000 on attorney fees and that his name had been cleared by an ethics panel of the Legislature. Harassment charges by former political lobbyist Laura Bonar were dismissed after the Bonar declined to be deposed or testify before an investigative panel.

Bonar said through an attorney that a deposition would have forced her to identify other victims of unrelated sexual harassment. Trujillo disputes that and criticizes Bonar for interfering in an election by calling on him to resign.

Trujillo lost the June Democratic primary in the wake of the allegations.

Trujillo says the ordeal caused incalculable stress on him and his family, a damaged reputation and lots of money.
    
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5:10 p.m.
    
A panel of New Mexico legislators has signed off on the decision to dismiss sexual misconduct charges against state Rep. Carl Trujillo.
    
The bipartisan, eight-member panel said Tuesday that it was impossible to make any determination about alleged violations of the Legislature’s anti-harassment policy because the woman who accused Trujillo of misconduct declined to give a deposition or testify under oath.
    
Trujillo says the order clears his name and that there was never sufficient evidence of probable cause to investigate.
    
Former political lobbyist Laura Bonar has accused Trujillo of touching and propositioning her as the two worked together on legislation in 2014. Trujillo lost a June Democratic primary election weeks after Bonar posted the allegations online.
    
Bonar’s attorney says a deposition would have required Bonar to identify other sexual-harassment victims.

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