New York State Senate candidate Julia Salazar accused Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesperson, David Keyes, of sexual assault on Tuesday.
In a statement uploaded to the Twitter account of Salazar’s campaign, the self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist warned of a forthcoming report detailing her experiences with Keyes—which she anticipated would look to paint her in a negative light.
“Before this [story] runs, I want to come forward and confirm that I was a victim of sexual assault by David Keyes- the Prime Minister of Israel’s spokesperson to foreign media,” wrote Salazar. “This story appears to be an effort to cast doubt upon my, and other women’s, accusations against Keyes.”
In a since-deleted Facebook post from 2016, a woman alleged Keyes assaulted her in a Manhattan apartment in 2013, according to a report in The Times of Israel.
“This man, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s new spokesperson, is an American who sexually assaults women – and I’m here to tell you this from firsthand experience,” wrote the unidentified woman in the post, who said she left his building in tears after the encounter. “I still remember vividly the night that this happened, and have a record that corroborates it.”
At the time, Keyes denied the charge, claiming in a statement, “There was absolutely no coercion in our encounter.”
The Daily Caller on Tuesday reported that the woman in question was Salazar.
Salazar’s campaign for a Brooklyn seat has in recent weeks hit controversy. Earlier on Tuesday, the watchdog group Citizens Union severed ties with the candidate despite having endorsed her in the primary race. The break followed reports that Salazar had misled the public about graduating from Columbia University—she told The New York Times last week that she had only completed coursework.
Salazar’s family have also refuted the candidate’s claims that she grew up a “proud immigrant” in a working-class household. Talking to reporters, her brother asserted the family was “very much middle class” and grew up in “a house in Jupiter [Florida] along the river… in a beautiful neighborhood.”
Neither Salazar’s campaign nor Keyes’ office immediately responded to Observer’s requests for comment.