Politics & Government

‘I’ll never forget the pain’: SC senator shares assault story after Kavanaugh vote

For the first time ever, the SC Senate has four women members -- two from the Midlands and two from the Lowcountry. Mia McLeod is one four women elected to the Senate.
For the first time ever, the SC Senate has four women members -- two from the Midlands and two from the Lowcountry. Mia McLeod is one four women elected to the Senate. tdominick@thestate.com

An S.C. state senator is sharing her own story of surviving sexual assault after controversial Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme court — and taking a few shots at Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham in the process..

State Sen. Mia McLeod, D-Richland, shared her story in an email to supporters Monday, two days after Kavanaugh narrowly was named to the nation’s highest court despite allegations of sexual assault.

In a lengthy statement, McLeod said she was assaulted by an unidentified man the summer she graduated from high school.

“There were no cellphones or video cameras to chronicle it. No counselors or confidants with whom I felt comfortable sharing it,” McLeod wrote. “I told no one but God.

“Now, a little over 30 years later, I don’t remember the exact date, time or location of the assault,” she wrote. “But I’ll never forget the pain, hurt, guilt, shame and fear he caused.”

Attempts to contact McLeod by The State were not immediately successful.

McLeod said she never reported the incident, drawing parallels with Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who never revealed publicly her alleged assault by Kavanaugh before the judge was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump.

McLeod wrote the treatment of Ford and Anita Hill, who alleged sexual harassment by Associate Justice Clarence Thomas before his 1991 confirmation, shows why women are reluctant to report assaults. She also was critical of senators who said they believed Ford’s testimony about the attack but thought she misidentified Kavanaugh as her attacker.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Oct. 6 in a 50-48 vote.

“While my ability to remember every detail of the assault may be sketchy, the identity of the person who assaulted me isn’t,” McLeod wrote.

McLeod also took aim at Graham, R-Seneca, who became one of Kavanaugh’s staunchest defenders during the Senate confirmation process.

“Let’s hope that cabinet appointment or whatever Trump promised him was worth the soul he sold to get it,” she wrote. “I’ve lived in South Carolina all my life, so I’m accustomed to being embarrassed on a national stage, but if Lindsey is the best we can do, it’s easy to see why our state is always last & lovin’ it.”

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