Democrats and colleagues are urging a gay school official and local politician in San Diego, California to resign following allegations of sexual assault and misconduct.
Four young men have accused Kevin Beiser of various types of sexual misconduct. One of them filed a lawsuit against Beiser on Monday (18 March).
Beiser is a San Diego Unified School District trustee and a middle school teacher in Chula Vista. He is also a member of the Democratic Party and opened a committee to run for City Council.
The lawsuit accuses Beiser of sexual harassment, hostile work environment, gender violence, sexual battery, sexual assault and emotional distress. It also names Beiser’s husband, Dan Mock.
Both men have denied all accusations.
‘There is no truth to these allegations,’ they said in a joint statement. ‘We believe they are politically motivated and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves.’
Allegations of forced sexual contact and more
The plaintiff is identified as John Doe in the lawsuit. He spoke to NBC 7 about what he alleges happened between him and Beiser.
He said he first met Beiser in 2013. Beiser invited him to a bar with some friends, but when the plaintiff arrived, only Beiser was there.
John Doe claimed he woke up the next day in a hotel room and believed he had been date raped.
Three months later, John Doe accepted a position with Beiser’s school board campaign, which was run out of Beiser and Mock’s home. John Doe said the sexual harassment continued with unwanted touching and walking around in his underwear.
Five years later, in 2018, the plaintiff worked on another campaign with Beiser.
‘Again, it didn’t stop. It continued,’ he said in the lawsuit. ‘From that moment I had the rule of consent. I had to yell “consent” at him for him to stop and he would pull back [and say it’s fine]… It was more like a joke, it was playful for him that I told him ‘Consent matters, stop touching me.’
John Doe said he didn’t want to stay silent and ‘see further abuse of young men that are trying to make a way in politics’.
‘I was violated’
Another accuser, Paul Crawford, described to the Voice of San Diego how Breiser ‘violated’ him. He got involved in local politics in Chula Vista and that’s how he met Breiser.
Breiser allegedly invited Crawford to a pool party, claiming he wanted to set Crawford up with someone. The man, however, was ‘indifferent’ to Crawford.
After the man left, Breiser allegedly followed Crawford into a bathroom and propositioned him with a threesome with another man, but Crawford turned him down.
Crawford said Breiser led him to a bedroom with another man despite his initial refusal.
As the Voice of San Diego explained: ‘Crawford then said he lay down on the bed, closed his eyes and lay still while both men performed sexual acts on him.’
‘He told me I was a good boy,’ Crawford said of Breiser, who masturbated while laying beside him to finish.
Looking back on it, Crawford explained: ‘Was I raped? No, I don’t think I was raped. I’m not scarred for life. But I’ll never forget it.’
Calls for resignation
‘Due to the heinous nature of the allegations against SDUSD School Board President Kevin Beiser, the San Diego County Democratic Party Central Committee will consider a resolution calling for his resignation tonight,’ said Will Rodriguez-Kennedy of the SDCDP.
They voted 57-4 in favor of Breiser’s resignation on Tuesday (19 March).
The San Diego Unified School District initially told NBC 7 they had no comment. They responed the matter ‘will be handled by the courts’.
More recently, SDUSD President Sharon Whitehurst-Payne said they would discuss ‘board member conduct and expectations’ at the next meeting on 16 April.
‘As elected officials, especially those leading an organization dedicated to the future of our youth, we must hold ourselves to higher standard,’ she added.
LGBTI elected officials also put out their own joint statement.
‘As LGBT elected officials who are committed to changing the overarching cultural and political climate to prevent sexual harassment, we want to ensure that every complaint is fully investigated and appropriately decided,’ it read.
‘That said, even following the principles of due process, there are cases, especially those with multiple and severe allegations, where the obvious right thing is for the accused to step away from their position. This is one of those cases.’