Accuser of State Senator Jack Latvala comes forward

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By: Mike Vasilinda | Capitol News Service
November 30, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- 35-year-old Rachel Perrin Rogers has come forward, saying she is the woman who filed a sexual harassment complaint against State Senator Jack Latvala.

In a statement provided by her lawyer, she said, “The confidentiality that I was promised under Florida law has been violated. I am fearful of the effect that this unethical action will have on other victims."

Senator Latvala countered by providing more than 130 text messages between him and Rogers, some work related, others political, some friendly.

Latvala stated, "She obviously communicates with me unsolicited on a very frequent basis, and has for four or five years. She has invited me and asked me to meet with her alone."

In one text message, Rogers tells Latvala that there’s BBQ for lunch in her office. He asks her to save him some, she responds with plate and smiley face emojis. In another message she says she donated to Latvala's reelection effort.

Latvala continued, "I believe it's all political. I don't think there's an accident that out of 200 female employees in the Senate, the one who has purportedly filed a complaint against me is the wife of a political consultant. I don't think it's an accident."

Rogers husband, Brian Hughes, is a political consultant.

Citing the confidentiality of the investigation, the Senate President's Office says it has no comment about the released text messages.

In response to the text messages, Rodgers' attorney claimed, “At no time did my client invite or encourage Jack Latvala to touch private parts of her body. At no time did my client ask to be subjected to verbal or physical harassment.”

By: Associated Press
November 30, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida Gov. Rick Scott is calling embattled State Sen. Jack Latvala "a distraction," a move that could put pressure on the powerful Republican to resign.

Scott said in a statement on Thursday that it was "obvious that Senator Latvala remaining in the Senate is a distraction. It seems that everyone in Tallahassee is talking about this and not how to make Florida better."

Scott's remarks were first reported by Politico Florida.

Latvala has been accused by six women of groping or making demeaning comments about their bodies. The Florida Senate is investigating Latvala.

Latvala has denied the allegations, but this week one of his anonymous accusers went public. Rachel Perrin Rogers is a top aide to Senate Majority Leader Wilton Simpson and her husband is a prominent GOP consultant.

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