Kagan Says Video Proves She Was Touched Inappropriately by Lobbyist
Gil Genn, the lobbyist, believes the video shows he did not do what she alleges
State Sen. Cheryl Kagan
Updated – 4:30 p.m. – State Sen. Cheryl Kagan presented a security video to reporters in Annapolis on Tuesday that she said proved Annapolis lobbyist Gil Genn touched her inappropriately at a bar earlier this month.
Kagan (D-Rockville) has accused Genn, a former District 16 delegate, of putting his hand on her back and then running it down to her “tush.” After the March 1 incident, Kagan accused Genn of inappropriately touching her in a public statement and later filed a harassment complaint against him with the General Assembly’s human resources department.
Genn issued a three-page statement after Kagan publicly accused him in which he wrote, “I kept my hands to myself. I didn’t even shake her hand. I did not run my hand down her back or down to her tush.”
On Tuesday, Kagan showed the security footage from the pub during a press briefing, which she also streamed on her public Facebook page. The footage from Castlebay Irish Pub in Annapolis shows Kagan and Genn interacting in the crowded bar and Genn touching what appears to be the lower back of Kagan before removing his hand. The two continue to talk for about a minute before they part ways.
A copy of the video, the alleged incident occurs during the first 10 seconds of the recording in the bottom right corner.
Kagan told the reporters the video proves Genn lied in his denial about the interaction. “The video shows that’s not the case,” she said.
In a statement provided to Bethesda Beat by Genn's attorney Timothy Maloney, Genn wrote the video proves "beyond dispute" that he did not "grab or grope her, as has been reported in the press from Senator Kagan's statements."
He accused Kagan of making false allegations about him over the past 12 days.
"The damage to my reputation has been incalculable, as well as the suffering and harm to my family and our business," Genn wrote. "Senator Kagan owes me and my family an apology. She must immediately remove her false Facebook posts about me. But she cannot remove her false allegations from the internet, which will always be there any time someone Googles my name. That damage is permanent and irreparable, and my counsel is reviewing what can be done about it."
Kagan told reporters Tuesday she hopes that by sharing her story about the interaction she can help promote a bill sponsored by Del. Ariana Kelly (D-Bethesda) in the House of Delegates that would include lobbyists in the legislature’s anti-harassment policy. The policy does not currently include a process for handling claims leveled against lobbyists.
Kagan added that she came forward with her story in hopes of dispelling the “culture of silence” that she said is common in Annapolis when it comes to women publicly sharing stories of harassment.