First Complaint Against Packwood Involving a Minor
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The first sexual misconduct complaint involving a minor was among the two accusations that delayed Ethics Committee deliberations in the case of Sen. Bob Packwood, Senate sources said today.
The woman, now in her late 20s, said she was a 17-year-old Senate intern when the Oregon Republican grabbed and kissed her in 1983.
The complaint was one of two that led the committee last week to delay its penalty deliberations, until the latest allegations could be investigated.
The Senate sources, who would not be quoted by name, said that the age of the woman was important to committee members, but it was too early to tell how it would affect discussions over penalties.
Punishment for violation of Senate rules could include a censure, loss of Packwood’s chairmanship of the Finance Committee or expulsion.
The committee already has found ``substantial credible evidence″ that Packwood, R-Ore., may have violated Senate rules through a pattern of sexual misconduct. Among the charges: that the senator made unwanted advances to 17 women on 18 occasions from 1969-90.
The former intern, whose name has not been made public, first told her story in a Washington Post article in February 1993. The incident described in the complaint occurred after she had spent two summers working as an intern for Packwood.
The other complaint was filed by a Celia Lighthill, 55, who alleged that Packwood grabbed and kissed her during a 1971 group rafting and camping trip.
The former intern told the Post that she occasionally drove Packwood to work from the Bethesda, Md., neighborhood where she lived with her parents and where Packwood lived with his then-wife.
During a drive, Packwood reportedly told her that she was attractive and that he considered her a woman in spite of her age, comments that made her nervous.
During her senior year she asked the senator for a letter of recommendation to use for college applications. The senator reportedly called her several times to discuss the recommendation, then insisted on delivering it himself.
He arranged to come to her house when no one else was home. She told the Post that after she read his letter, he tried to hug her. When she freed herself and showed him to the door, he ``laid a juicy kiss on my lips. I could feel the tongue coming,″ she said.
She told the newspaper she was so ``shaken″ that she double-locked the front door after he left.
Meanwhile, Packwood said in a written statement that he is not resigning as reported last Sunday by newswoman Cokie Roberts on ABC’s ``This Week With David Brinkley.″
``To coin a phrase, rumors of my resignation have been greatly exaggerated,″ Packwood said. ``I have no intention of resigning from the Senate this week, or any other week.
``I understand how these rumors get started, and they are just wishful thinking by a few partisans and sloppy reporters. They should tread more carefully.″
The committee also has found ``substantial credible evidence″ that Packwood sought jobs for his wife _ as the couple was divorcing _ from lobbyists and businessmen with interests in legislation; and altered his diaries when he learned they may be subpoenaed.