The Campaign Spot

The Allegations Against Herman Cain Take a Specific Twist

On Friday afternoon, I wrote that without details from his accusers, Herman Cain must be deemed “innocent,” or at least that charges that are both anonymous and unspecified cannot be considered significant enough to derail a presidential campaign. The American people cannot put their faith in, ’I won’t say what he did, but trust me, he’s guilty of wrongdoing.’

Now we have charges that are specific and no longer anonymous.

A Chicago woman just told reporters that in a 1997 encounter with Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain in Washington, D.C., he reached under her skirt and tried to pull her head toward his crotch.

A Cain spokesman calls the story “more false accusations.”

Sharon Bialek, who said she had come to Cain for employment advice, claimed he took her out to dinner and then in his car “suddenly reached over and put his hand on my leg under my skirt and reached for my genitals.” Then, she said, he “grabbed my head and brought it toward his crotch.”

When she objected, Bialek said, Cain said at first “you want a job, right?” Then he took her back to her hotel.

Bialek was introduced at her press conference by attorney Gloria Allred. To say Gloria Allred’s reputation is shaky is to say Bill Clinton had an interest in the opposite sex. Some will conclude that anyone who hires Allred as a lawyer is after publicity, and is not to be trusted. But that’s a non sequitor; a truthful person can hire Allred as easily as a liar.

If she’s telling the truth, Herman Cain is a creep (and probably guilty of what legally would be considered misdemeanor sexual abuse, defined as sexual contact without the other person’s permission). If she’s lying, she’s trying to destroy the man’s presidential campaign and reputation over… some as-yet-unknown motive.

I’ve put in a call to the Washington Hilton; one aspect of Bialek’s story should be fairly easy to verify, presuming the Hilton Corporation holds records from 1997: did Herman Cain rent a suite at the Capital Hilton in Washington D.C.?

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