Kagan Accuses Lobbyist of Inappropriate Touching

State senator said in a statement this was not the first time the man touched her inappropriately

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District 17 State Sen. Cheryl Kagan

via Twitter

State Sen. Cheryl Kagan on Friday afternoon issued a statement accusing Annapolis lobbyist Gil Genn of inappropriately touching her Thursday night.

In the statement, Kagan, who represents Rockville-based District 17, said Genn put his hand on her back and “then slid it down.”

The Baltimore Sun reported the incident happened during a karaoke night at Castle Bay bar in Annapolis after Genn interrupted a conversation Kagan was having with someone else. She told the paper he “grazed” her “tush.”

Genn did not immediately respond to a text message from Bethesda Beat requesting comment and his voicemail box was full Friday afternoon.

He described Kagan’s account of the encounter to the Sun as “delusional” and said he only briefly ran into her at the bar while he was there with his long-time girlfriend.

He also denied that there were any other incidents of inappropriate touching. Kagan told the paper that in the late 1990s Genn had on at least two occasions put his hand on her stomach, right below her breasts, but stopped when she confronted him about it.

Kagan first mentioned what she says happened Thursday night on Facebook, but didn’t name Genn at the time. At 10:30 p.m. Thursday, she wrote, “Damn—I can’t believe it happened again! With all the conversation, awareness and press about #MeToo, did a lobbyist truly just put his hand on my back and slide it down down down…? #DefinitelyNOTacceptable. I am SO tempted to start naming names as a consequence.”

People who responded to the Facebook post encouraged her to name the person.

In Friday’s statement, Kagan wrote, “While the anonymous stories that have been covered by the press are valid and important, it is so critical to call out—by name—men who still fail to respect women’s boundaries. I will be silent no more. 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. I speak up today not only for myself, but also for the legislative staff and interns who are clearly more vulnerable than a Senator whose votes could affect a lobbyist’s clients. It’s time to call him out.”

Genn formerly served as the delegate from Bethesda-based District 16 from 1987 to 1999. He’s listed as a partner at the Bellamy Genn Group on the Annapolis firm’s website.

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