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Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra should resign over sexual misconduct

By in Press Enterprise on October 31, 2017

By The Editorial Board

Entrusted to represent and serve the public, elected officials must be held to high ethical and moral standards.

Last week, the details of a 2009 sexual assault by Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, D-Pacoima, were made public by his victim, Elise Flynn Gyore.

In light of this revelation, Bocanegra cannot be taken seriously as a representative of the people who elected him without this knowledge, and we ask that he step down immediately.

Two weeks ago, amid the burgeoning national discussion about the pervasiveness and harms of sexual harassment, nearly 150 female legislators, consultants, lobbyists and others who work in state politics penned an open letter calling attention to the “degrading” and “dehumanizing” abuses they’ve experienced “in a state that postures itself as a leader in justice and equality.”

Gyore was one of the women with the courage to sign onto the letter. By publicly naming Bocanegra as the perpetrator of an attack on her in 2009, when Bocanegra was chief of staff to then-Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes and she a Senate staffer, Gyore has provided critical insight into the problem of sexual harassment and the disgraceful way in which the problem has been dealt with.

The incident itself was nothing short of disturbing. According to Gyore, Bocanegra, who she did not know prior to the attack, reached down her blouse, “very aggressively,” as she told the Los Angeles Times, and persisted in following her even after she told him to stop. “I felt very much like prey … I really was fearful for my own safety,” Gyore told The Sacramento Bee on Friday.

The experience understandably left Gyore shaken, and with both Gyore and Bocanegra still working in the state Capitol, the events of eight years ago continue to reverberate, with Gyore to this day put in the position of having to avoid the man who victimized her […]    

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