GOP Staffer Mocks Woman Supporting Sexual Assault Victim of Matt Dababneh
A senior staffer to a California legislator shockingly mocked a private citizen who merely expressed support and words of encouragement on Facebook for Pamela Lopez, the woman who alleges that Assemblyman Matt Dababneh forced her into a bathroom and masturbated in front of her.
Justin Turner works for Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) who has also been accused of sexually assaulting a woman.
In October, American Children First sent a letter to the Sacramento County District Attorney requesting an investigation into allegations that he had digitally penetrated one of his unconscious staffers as she slept in the guest bedroom of Turner's home. The matter was turned over to the Sacramento Police Department.
Sacramento PD closed the investigation without speaking to any of the sources we had provided in our letter. Additionally, they did not contact me nor did they contact any one of a number of different people we interviewed since we submitted the letter. And the department refused to disclose whether or not they interviewed the alleged victim or whether or not she answered any questions.
Earlier today, as I was intently following the unfolding Dababneh story, I posted a link to the images of Ms. Lopez' letter to the Assembly Rules Committee detailing the masturbatory encounter in the bathroom.
Janie Sustaita, who previously worked for Assemblyman Devon Mathis and has spoken out against the treatment she received from Mathis and Turner, simply addressed the Lopez matter and offered words of encouragement and support.
Here comment read:
"My heart breaks for her. I hope she see this. Thank you for speaking up. You are brave and strong. You should not live in fear of losing your job or damaging your name. Keep your head up and do what's right to help pave away for other women to end this treatment (sic)."
For some reason, Justin Turner felt it appropriate to laugh at the comment using the Facebook emoticon. See images below.
Irritated by his callousness and the utter stupidity of it from a simple optics standpoint, I called Turner out on it. Click image below to enlarge.
Minutes later, Turner deselected the "laughing" emoticon response without making any comment. Although he did block me following my simple questions. You can view his Facebook page here and see the "exchange" below:
Previously, Ms. Sustaita accused Mathis and Turner of creating a hostile working environment in an article published in the Visalia Times-Delta. It reads:
"Sustaita, the former district director, quit in July after filing formal complaints that Mathis and now-acting Chief of Staff Justin Turner created a hostile work environment."
She also alleged Mathis allowed Turner to verbally assault her on a regular basis. Her formal complaint states that Turner called her a “bitch” and a “snake.”
Turner did not comment for the article but did supply a letter from the Assembly Rules Committee which stated that they could not substantiate Ms. Sustaita's claims. Of course, we know that the Assembly Rules Committee has a stellar record and reputation of protecting women in the workplace.
However, I would posit that an individual willing to go out of their way to seek out the Facebook postings of Ms. Sustaita and subsequently mock her for supporting another woman who was victimized in the workplace only serves to maker her claims against Turner's verbal abuse more credible.
On top of that, Assemblyman Mathis seems to encourage abusive and threatening behavior.
The executive editor for the Visalia Times-Delta published a scathing editorial documenting how a crisis management consultant hired by Mathis attempted to intimidate and threaten one of their reporters.
Of Jennifer Jacobs' amateurish threats Silas Lyons' wrote:
But this case is different, and I think you deserve to know about it as our readers. In the 20-plus years I’ve worked in this business, I’ve never seen such a blatantly personal attempt by a powerful person to intimidate a reporter and push her off the trail of a story.
It’s particularly revolting that the spokeswoman for an elected official accused of sexual improprieties with women would try to railroad a woman working on the story with innuendo that she has embarrassing dirt on her. Mathis should personally and immediately disavow such tactics if he wishes to maintain any credibility on the subject of relating professionally to women.
It is worth noting that Mathis never disavowed these tactics. And we find it highly unlikely that Mathis will disavow this disrespectful and unprofessional behavior on the part of his staffer -- especially a staffer that was there the night an alleged sexual assault took place.