DENVER (CBS4)– The Colorado state lawmaker at the center of sexual assault allegations said he is “fearful for his life” and that he has received multiple demands for his resignation.
Rep. Steve Lebsock, who’s running for treasurer, talked about blackmail and coercion after three women accused him of sexual harassment.
“This story is not just a story of false allegations of sexual harassment. I have been blackmailed and coerced and my rights have been violated. I wanted the proof so I kept it on my phone.”
Lebsock said he was being threatened by a man known only to him as Joel. Lebsock showed reporters at least 26 calls over four days from a San Francisco area code. The man on the other end allegedly asked him to resign and he would be guaranteed a six-figure consulting job.
“So the first text says, on November 11th at noon, ‘I can help, it’s what we do won’t ask again.’”
Lebsock read another text, “November 11th at 3:07 p.m. ‘I can guarantee a consulting position at…’ and I’m gonna leave out the consulting firm for now, ‘keep home etc. must respond that you will resign effective Monday. Midnight today.’ ”
Lebsock says he answered a phone call from the man and who asked him if he wanted a job at Dairy Queen or the six figure consulting job, again coercing him to resign.
“Right now I’m fearful for my life. The bullet points are, I’ve been harassed for the last four days. I have not been afforded my due process, in fact, a number of elected officials have asked me to resign without even hearing my side of the story.”
While Lebsock admitted he was uncomfortable working in his current environment, he made no indication to reporters he would. He stated that he may very well become the Colorado State Treasurer.
Democratic House Speaker Crisanta Duran removed Lebsock as chairman of the Local Government Committee on Friday. She acted following a report that Lebsock made unwanted sexual advances toward a fellow Democrat, Rep. Faith Winter, also of Adams County, in 2016.
Duran issued this statement on Tuesday afternoon: “As Speaker of the House, I will continue to support the right of a victim to decide how they want these personal and sensitive situations to be handled. When I named Rep. Lebsock to the chairmanship, I believed that the situation had been resolved to the satisfaction of Rep. Winter. When these new allegations came to light last week, I took action to address them. I would not have appointed him chair knowing what I know today.”
Winter said Lebsock suggested they engage in sexual acts and acted aggressively toward her when she refused during an end-of-session party in 2016, according to the report. She said he grabbed her elbow and that she felt threatened.
She has filed a formal complaint at the urging of Lebsock.
“This culture is building-wide, and so it’s going to take solutions, and moving forward with the support of Republicans and Democrats and leadership in both chambers to make sure the Speaker’s recommendations move forward.”