Woman accuses Oregon Congressman of unwanted sexual encounter

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 23, 2011 3:23 PM
Woman accuses Oregon Congressman of unwanted sexual encounter

By Teresa Carson

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - Democratic Oregon Congressman David Wu has been accused by a teenage girl of an unwanted sexual encounter, and has called the accusation "very serious."

News reports said the young woman is the daughter of a campaign donor and high school friend of the seven-term Congressman.

The unnamed accuser is from Orange County, California and graduated from high school in 2010, the Oregonian newspaper reported.

"This is very serious, and I have absolutely no desire to bring unwanted publicity, attention, or stress to a young woman and her family," Wu, 56, said in a statement obtained by Reuters on Saturday.

Reuters contacted Wu's office, but his spokesman declined further comment.

David Swanson, an Irvine, California attorney and spokesman for the girl's family also declined to comment.

Wu is the first Chinese-American elected to the House of Representatives.

The Oregonian reported that Wu told his staff the alleged encounter with the teenager was consensual.

Several of his staff earlier this year listened to a distraught voice mail left by the young woman, accusing Wu of aggressive and unwanted sexual behavior, it said.

The newspaper did not name the young woman or its sources for the story.

Wu's behavior has in the past drawn criticism.

In February he announced that he was undergoing psychiatric treatment after his staff complained about his erratic behavior in the run up to the November 2010 Congressional elections.

They said Wu had behaved strangely at meetings and had e-mailed pictures of himself wearing a tiger suit to staff. Several key staff members resigned following the election.

In 2007 he gave a speech on the House floor comparing Bush administration officials to members of a fictional alien race on "Star Trek," saying "There are Klingons in the White House" sending "real Americans to war."

Two Democrats have already announced they will seek Wu's seat in the next Congressional election.

(Editing by Tim Gaynor and Mary Wisniewski)