State Sen. Cheryl Kagan (D-17) alleges that a lobbyist inappropriately touched her during a legislative event on March 1.
“Last night, former legislator and current Annapolis lobbyist, Gil Genn, put his hand on my back and then slid it down…This was not the first time he had touched me inappropriately,” Kagan said in a March 2 statement she released through her state senate office.
Kagan alleges the incident occurred during Legislative Karaoke Night at Castlebay Irish Pub in Annapolis on March 1. Kagan said she thought it was appropriate to call out Genn by name because it is important to call out men who still do not respect women’s boundaries. She said she would “remain silent no more.”
Genn, a former Montgomery County delegate who represented District 16 and is now a lobbyist, denies Kagan’s claim that he touched her in an inappropriate way. Genn released his own statement on March 5 denying Kagan’s account of the incident.
“I absolutely and categorically deny Senator Kagan’s allegation against me,” Genn said in a statement. “I absolutely and categorically condemn all forms of sexual harassment, inappropriate touching or any other form of offensive behavior toward anyone under any circumstance, at any time. I do not condone or tolerate such offensive behavior.”
Genn said in his statement that he did see Kagan at the event at Castlebay, but did not touch her at all even to shake her hand.
On Wednesday Kagan’s campaign emailed supporters about the incident, including part of her written March 2 statement and a call to turn “anger into action on sexual assault” by supporting a proposed bill that would make state bodies report sexual harassment complaints about regulated lobbyists to the State Ethics Commission.