An Ex-Staffer Accusing George Santos of Sexual Assault Is Being Drowned Out By…Everything Else

In recent weeks, Santos has been embroiled in fairly lighter—even comical—scandals. But the allegation against him should stand apart from that.

An Ex-Staffer Accusing George Santos of Sexual Assault Is Being Drowned Out By…Everything Else
Photo:Alex Wong (Getty Images)

There’s yet another development in the sometimes funny, mostly dark, always sketchy story of Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y,), the karaoke-singing alleged drag queen who appears to have fabricated the entirety of his resume and lied about his mom dying in 9/11. Over the weekend, Derek Myers, a prospective staffer in Santos’ congressional office, sent a letter to the House Ethics Committee and filed a police report alleging that Santos sexually assaulted him on Jan. 25. Shortly after Myers says he rejected Santos’ advances, he had his job offer as a staff assistant in Santos’ office rescinded on Feb. 1.

The first incident occurred while Myers was sorting mail in Santos’ office, he said. Santos invited him to sit on the couch next to him. “I proceeded to move forward with a discussion about the mail, but the Congressman stopped me by placing his hand on my left leg, near my knee and saying, ‘Hey buddy, we’re going to karaoke tonight. Would you like to go?’” Myers wrote in the letter. After Myers turned down the invitation, he claims that Santos “proceeded to take his hand and move it down my leg into my inner-thigh and proceeded to touch my groin.” Further, Myers claims Santos told him that his husband was out of town and invited Myers to come over.

“I quickly pushed the Congressman’s hand away and grabbed the mail from the table and proceeded to discuss the topic of constituent correspondence. Shortly thereafter, I left the personal office and returned to my desk,” Myers wrote.

A few days later on Jan. 30, he says Santos’ senior staffers asked to meet with Myers about his past career as a journalist. They confronted Myers about a since-dismissed criminal charge he’d faced last year for alleged wire-tapping. Myers pleaded not guilty to the charge, which came after he recorded and published audio from a murder trial while he served as editor-in-chief of a local Ohio newspaper. The charge against him was denounced by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Until that point, Myers had been working in a “volunteer” capacity: He’d been offered a job and was told he would be paid and formally given the job once paperwork was processed—but the offer was rescinded. Myers told CBS over the weekend that the “timing…certainly raises the prospect” that it was in retaliation for rejecting Santos’ advances.

As of Tuesday, Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.), ranking member on the House Ethics Committee, confirmed to CBS that the committee had received Myers’ letter, and Capitol Police informed Myers his report was being processed. However, there’s been minimal conversation about the alleged sexual assault, compared to the news cycles and torrents of social media posts reacting to revelations of funnier, less harmful aspects of Santos’ biography. In the last couple weeks alone, Santos has been exposed previously performing drag despite aligning himself with anti-LGBTQ party leadership, claiming to have starred in shows like Hannah Montana and produced the Spider-Man broadway show, and recording himself singing on a popular karaoke app.

And while it’s concerning that this story about Santos seems to be getting less attention, it’s not exactly surprising. The extensive rape and sexual assault allegations against former President Donald Trump rarely received as much attention as his tweets. And outside of politics, jokes about Armie Hammer’s cannibalism seemed to drown out the rape allegation against him. Often enough, men accused of abuse seem to get a pass when we can focus on their gaffes, or their more palatable transgressive behavior.

To be clear, on some level, I fully understand the comparative lack of outcry about this. The Santos-related news cycle has become increasingly exhausting, and we’re all a little tired of hearing about this man.

Myers said the primary objective of the letter to the House Ethics Committee is actually to raise that Santos’ office violated House policy by treating him as a volunteer who was “released after several days of work without compensation.” CBS notes that according to the House Ethics Committee’s website, a congressional office can only accept temporary volunteer services if “(1) the voluntary service is of significant educational benefit to the participant; and (2) such voluntary assistance does not supplant the normal and regular duties of paid employees.”

Asked why he wanted to work for Santos at all, given…everything, Myers explained to CBS, “Congressman Santos doesn’t have many people knocking down his door asking for a job. The people of the district still deserve quality representation and the staff is the one who does all the work.”

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