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As more sexual harassment allegations emerge, elected leaders join call for Bocanegra’s immediate resignation

By in Press Enterprise on November 22, 2017

By Elizabeth Chou

Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, who has now been accused by seven women of sexual harassment, said this week that he will not seek re-election when his term is up in about 10 months. But there is a growing chorus of fellow elected leaders who say they want him gone sooner than that.

Councilwoman Nury Martinez, a longtime political ally and personal friend of Bocanegra’s, was among the first group of elected officials to publicly call for his immediate resignation.

“Raul Bocanegra has been a friend and ally, but I am saddened, disappointed, and angered by allegations that he harassed several women,” Martinez said in an emailed statement.

She said those who have been on the receiving end of sexual harassment and assault by those in power have felt “powerless” to stop what was happening.

“That’s why I am calling on Assemblyman Bocanegra to immediately resign his office,” Martinez said.

Martinez’s ties to Bocanegra are one of the more complicated of those calling for his resignation. Her husband has worked for Bocanegra as a campaign consultant and is now his district director. Martinez and her husband’s home served as the setting for some of the alleged incidents detailed in this week’s Los Angeles Times article on six additional women accusing him of sexual harassment.

She has also leaned on Bocanegra to sponsor a bill aimed at combatting sex-trafficking and other ongoing issues for her district.

The new accounts of sexual harassment this week followed one made public last month about a legislative staffer, Elise Gyore, who accused Bocanegra of groping her while at a nightclub in 2009.

While the initial story drew some calls in the San Fernando Valley for his resignation, most elected officials remained relatively silent. The news of six more possible incidents of sexual harassment appeared to emboldened more of those in political office to also demand […]    

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