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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

U.S. Rep. DAVID WU SEXUAL ASSAULT SCANDAL: The Man in the Tiger Suit!


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Winston Ross, thedailybeast.com / Jul 26, 2011 12:02 AM EDT.

Rep. David Wu has survived a bizarre viral photo of himself in costume and calls for psychiatric help—but a teenager’s allegations of an unwanted sexual encounter may send him home from Washington for good, Winston Ross reports.

Congressman Wu Mental Health
Oregon Democratic Congressman David Wu speaks at a luncheon in Hillsboro, Ore., Monday, March, 7, 2011. Wu is reaching out to key constituents in his district as he tries to position himself for re-election amid questions about his mental health that led to the resignations of several staff members., Don Ryan / AP Photo.

Rep. David Wu has survived a bizarre viral photo of himself in costume and calls for psychiatric help—but a teenager’s allegations of an unwanted sexual encounter may send him home from Washington for good, Winston Ross reports.


For years Rep. David Wu has managed to bounce back from one strange escapade after another. Oregonians re-elected the Portland Democrat to a seventh term in November, not yet knowing that he'd emailed his staff bizarre pictures of himself in a tiger suit. The pictures later went viral, and “David Wu tiger” became the most popular Google search term for the congressman.
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But Wu’s long, strange career in Congress may be coming to an end at last, amid accusations that he finally did something offensive enough to warrant acongressional ethics investigation. The congressman is being urged to resign immediately over a teenager’s allegations that Wu forced her into an unwanted sexual encounter. While he says he won’t seek reelection in 2012, he is resisting calls to leave office before then.
According to a report that ran in The Oregonian over the weekend, a “distraught” 18-year-old girl left a voicemail at Wu’s Portland office accusing him of an “aggressive” sexual encounter. Wu, 56, acknowledged that some kind of sexual encounter did occur with the 2010 high-school graduate, the daughter of a longtime friend and campaign donor, but claimed it was consensual, the newspaper’s sources said. While the girl didn’t contact police at the time of the "unwanted" sexual behavior, Wu isn’t necessarily denying it.
“This is very serious,” Wu said in a statement. “I have absolutely no desire to bring unwanted publicity, attention, or stress to a young woman and her family.”
The teenager has declined to comment, but the newspaper’s sources say she’s the daughter of a high-school friend of Wu’s in Orange County and that the alleged incident took place last Thanksgiving weekend. The sources said the woman didn’t think there was enough evidence to press charges, given the lack of witnesses. Why she decided to bring it up months later, and via an emotional voicemail, is anyone’s guess. But Wu has apparently decided that this is the political scandal straw that broke the camel’s back. Spokesman Erik Dorey told The Daily Beast on Monday that though Wu isn’t resigning, he has decided not to seek reelection in 2012.
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