California Democrat Assemblywoman Christina Garcia, who was featured in Time Magazine as a leader of the #MeToo movement, has been accused of groping a male legislative staffer in 2014.
#MeToo became a viral hashtag on social media in October 2017, shortly after allegations of sexual assault against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein were made public. The hashtag is often posted alongside a personal survival story of sexual harassment or violence. Time Magazine honored “The Silence Breakers” who shared their stories as part of the movement in its annual Person of the Year issue in December 2017. Prominent Silence Breakers included actress Ashley Judd, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, and actor Terry Crews.
According to the allegation against Garcia, the assemblywoman was drunk as she stroked 25-year-old Daniel Fierro’s back and tried to squeeze his buttocks and crotch at a softball game.
“Her hand was there and it slipped down to my butt and she tried to squeeze," Fierro said. He did not immediately report the incident, but told Assemblyman Ian Calderon about it in January because of Garcia’s involvement in the #MeToo movement. The State Assembly is now investigating Garcia.
Additionally, a prominent Sacramento lobbyist anonymously told POLITICO that Garcia cornered him, made a graphic sexual proposal, and tried to grope him at a fundraising event in May 2017. The lobbyist claimed Garcia was noticeably drunk at this event as well.
“Every complaint about sexual harassment should be taken seriously and I will participate fully in any investigation that takes place," Garcia said in response to the accusations against her. "I have zero recollection of engaging in inappropriate behavior and such behavior is inconsistent with my values.”