Politics

Former Sherman Aide Accused of Sexual Assault

Matt Dababneh, now a California assemblyman, worked as aide to Sherman from 2005 to 2013

Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., speaks to constituents during a town hall meeting hosted by state Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, a former Sherman aide, in Van Nuys in February. Dababneh is accused of performing a lewd act in front of a lobbyist last year. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

A former aide to Rep. Brad Sherman who is currently a California state assemblyman is being accused of sexual assault

Matt Dababneh is being accused by lobbyist Pamela Lopez, who said Dababneh sexually assaulted her in a Las Vegas bathroom in 2016, The Associated Press reported.

Lopez outlined the incident, in which she said Dababneh slammed the door of a bathroom and masturbated in front of her, in a letter to the Assembly committee tasked with handling complaints.

“I am putting this in the hands of the lawmakers who have told me they will act to protect me,” Lopez said.

Dababneh worked as an aide to Sherman from 2005 to 2013, when he was elected to the Assembly. Dababneh denied the assault happened.

“I am saddened by this lobbyist’s effort to create this falsehood and make these inflammatory statements, apparently for her own self-promotion and without regard to the reputation of others,” he said.

Lopez was joined by Jessica Yas Barker, a producer for the television network Ovation, who said Dababneh frequently bragged about his sexual exploits and showed her used condoms.

Sherman said he did not know about Dababneh’s behavior.

“I had never seen or been told of, any inappropriate behavior by Assemblyman Dababneh, or any disparagement of women,” Sherman said.

But Jonathan Bash, a former president of the College Democrats for UCLA, said the organization advised women from interning in Sherman’s office because of Dababneh’s history.

Bash told the AP he did not report Dababneh’s actions because he felt it was a decision left to the people Dababneh worked for.

Dababneh has stepped aside as chairman of the Assembly’s Banking and Finance Committee while the allegation is under investigation.

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