On Jan. 28, state Sen. Daylin Leach filed a defamation lawsuit against his sexual assault accuser, Cara Taylor.
Taylor has previously filed a private criminal complaint, alleging that the politician of coerced her into performing oral sex back in 1991 when she was 17 years old. At the time, Leach was representing Taylor’s mother in an attempted murder case.
The senator, who serves parts of Montgomery and Delaware Counties, has asked for $50,000 in damages, claiming in the lawsuit that the accusations have made hurt his ability to serve in office and have caused his wife stress. Leach ended his run for Congress last February, when allegations of sexual harassment and grouping of eight women and three men surfaced.
“My family and I are no longer able or willing to endure this. For the sake of the issues I care about, for the sake of my family and friends and staff, for the sake of my reputation, and for the importance of truth itself, I simply cannot continue to silently and passively allow this. I have always said that I wanted due process. Now, I am going to get it.”
– State Sen. Daylin Leach in a Jan. 25 Facebook post in response to accusation of sexual misconduct.
In a Facebook post published on Jan. 25, the Philadelphia-born, Temple University alum explained why he would be suing his accuser.
“My family and I are no longer able or willing to endure this,” the post began. “For the sake of the issues I care about, for the sake of my family and friends and staff, for the sake of my reputation, and for the importance of truth itself, I simply cannot continue to silently and passively allow this. I have always said that I wanted due process. Now, I am going to get it.”
The lawsuit also mentions #MeToo activists Gwen Snyder and Colleen Kennedy. Both Snyder, known for her sexual assault accusation against a Bernie Sanders delegate at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and Kennedy, a former worker on one of Leach’s campaigns, have publicly defended Taylor’s allegations against Leach and have called on him to resign from office.
Many others, including Pa Gov. Tom Wolf, have also said that Leach should step down.
“It is past time for Sen. Leach to step down. The serious and shocking allegations against him need to be thoroughly investigated,” said state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale in a public statement on Jan. 29. “In the meantime, he has no business serving in the Senate, much less serving on the Judiciary Committee that could weigh in on statute of limitations issues.”
Senate democrats have launched an investigation, conducted by an outside firm, into Taylor’s accusations against Leach.
Attorney Marni Jo Snyder stated on behalf of Taylor, Snyder and Kennedy that the Leach’s lawsuit was “an attempt to silence these women,” according to WHYY.
“I will only say at this time that truth is an absolute defense to the claim and that Mr. Leach’s condemnation of the #MeToo movement as a method for defamation makes me sick,” continued the attorney.