Houston's biggest mistake, Rep Sheila Jackson Lee, has a long history of alleged abuse of her staff members, but a new controversial report has shed light on behavior that, if true, should probably end her career.
A lawsuit from a former staff member of SheJack says the Congresswoman retaliated against her and terminated her position because she was planning to sue over an alleged rape by a former employee of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF).
The woman, identified as 'Jane Doe' in the court papers, claims she was raped in October 2015 when she was a 19-year-old intern for the CBCF by the group's intern coordinator, Damien Jones.
The purported victim claims she reported the incident to police and Rep. Terri Sewell, her former boss, but was hesitant to pursue legal action at the time.
A short time later Jane Doe found herself working for SheJack; that's when the victim decided to go ahead and pursue legal actions against the person she claims raped her.
She told SheJacks’s chief of staff, Glenn Rushing, about her plans in early March 2018 and scheduled a meeting with Sheila to discuss her problem.
Several weeks later, she was fired.
As for Mr Damien Jones, he left the CBCF in late 2015 and continued to work in politics for Democrats. More recently he's served as the regional political director for former representative Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign.The lawsuit filed by Jane Doe is dated on January 11th. The complaint states that on Oct. 24, 2015, Mr Jones invited Jane Doe to meet for dinner. She claims he ordered a large quantity of drinks before taking her back to his home. That's where he poured more drinks.
Her memory from the rest of the night became very foggy but she said she sent a series of text messages to a close friend that night with words like, “Help,” “I’m want t[sic] to go home,” and “I’m ready to cry.”
She also told the friend she was with Mr Jones, the intern coordinator, but did not know where she was located. Based on the context of her explanation one might be led to believe she was drugged or intentionally intoxicated in order to make her more vulnerable (but that's just speculation from yours truly).
The victim claims she remembers Jones engaging in forced sexual activity with her, including oral penetration, according to the report.
The complaint states that she did not consent to sexual activity.
According to the report she woke up the next morning in Jones’ bed “with his arms and legs around her.” That's when she left.
She said she felt severe pain in her vagina and throughout her body.
Jane Doe claims she texted Mr Jones to ask what happened and he replied, "Nothing. You threw up everywhere. That's it."When she asked why she was naked he defended himself by saying he took her clothes off and put her in the shower but denied they had sexual relations.
From there Jane Doe went to the hospital to get a sexual assault exam, according to the complaint. A short time later she also reported the alleged assault to the Metropolitan Police Department in DC.
According to the report, investigators found sperm on the pants she was wearing that night but they couldn't get a sufficient DNA profile.After police got a search warrant for Jones' DNA they found that it matched DNA found on Jane Doe's breast.
Jane Doe met with representatives of the CBCF in November 2015 to discuss the incident. They told her Jones was placed on leave.
Two years after Jane Doe reported her allegations to the CBCF Damien Jones was invited to speak on a public panel at the CBCF's annual conference in September 2017.
In late 2017 Jane Doe got a job working for SheJack. After being hired at Jackson Lee's office she learned that Jones might be hired as one of her colleagues.
She told SheJack's chief of staff, Rushing, about her "prior situation" with her alleged rapist. Jones didn't end up getting hired in SheJack's office.
In March 2018 Jane Doe told SheJack's chief of staff she was planning to move forward with a legal complaint against Mr Jones. She wanted to speak to SheJack about the incident, but no meeting ever took place.
She was fired on March 29th.
Sheila isn’t known for treating staff members well. Jane Doe claims she had previously chauffeured SheJack in personal car and SheJack wanted her to replace the vehicle with something newer. When she was eventually fired SheJack's chief of staff told her the situation with the car, "Didn't help," whatever that means.
This is just one more blotch on Sheila Jackson Lee's long career.
You'd think this would upset her constituents but, in a district where she's rarely challenged for her seat, one has to wonder if the people who voted for her even care about the true nature of her character.
Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Texas, speaks to members of the media following James Comey, former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), not pictured, testifying before the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform Committees joint investigation in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. Comey said he'll return for a second meeting with House lawmakers after a day of closed-door questioning that he said was related mostly to Hillary Clinton's emails. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images