Representative John Wu (D-OR) announced today that he will resign from the U.S. House of Representatives as soon as the debt ceiling crisis is resolved amid allegations of non-consensual sex with a recent high school graduate.
According to the Portland Oregonian, a distraught young woman called Wu’s Portland office this spring, accusing him of an aggressive and unwanted sexual encounter. The young woman, who did not go to the police, has been identified only as the daughter of a longtime friend of the congressman. Though her age has not been verified, she reportedly graduated from high school in 2010.
Sources say that when senior aides confronted him about her phone call, Wu “acknowledged a sexual encounter … but insisted it was consensual.” Others suggest that the incident may have been the cause of Wu’s erratic behavior during his re-election campaign. At the end of the campaign, staff reportedly “avoided scheduling him for public appearances and ran a campaign that relied heavily on advertising.”
This is not the first time Wu was accused of non-consensual sex. “In 2004, The Oregonian reported on a 1976 case when Wu was a student at Stanford University and was disciplined for trying to force an ex-girlfriend to have sex…When the story ran three weeks before the 2004 election, Wu quickly apologized for his “inexcusable behavior” and was re-elected.”
Wu, who had already announced that he would not seek reelection, released a statement today announcing his resignation. “I cannot care for my family the way I wish while serving in Congress and fighting these very serious allegations. The wellbeing of my children must come before anything else. With great sadness, I therefore intend to resign effective upon the resolution of the debt-ceiling crisis. This is the right decision for my family, the institution of the House, and my colleagues.”