Kentucky reeling from sexual assault, harassment accusations

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Kentucky State House

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – As sexual assault and harassment allegations sweep through statehouses around the country, no place has been impacted quite like Kentucky.

Kentucky’s GOP House Speaker and three other Republican lawmakers have resigned their leadership positions after acknowledging they secretly settled a sexual harassment claim. And a freshman Republican lawmaker killed himself this week after allegations surfaced that he sexually assaulted a teenage girl in his basement.

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Three years ago, Democrats settled a $400,000 sexual harassment lawsuit. And in July, a Democratic state senator was accused of groping a younger man after propositioning him for sex. He denied the allegations and police didn’t file any charges.

Republican state Rep. Jim DuPlessis says lawmakers are facing financial challenges and the allegations take their focus away from the job at hand.