- (Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
Sexual harassment allegations continue to swirl around presidential candidate Herman Cain. Cain has maintained that the accusations are false and baseless, and those who are bringing forth the stories are motivated by racism or a desire to harm his candidacy.
Two unnamed sources spoke with PJ Media about one of the allegations of sexual harassment while Cain was head of the National Restaurant Association, a political advocacy organization representing restaurants in the United States. A woman working for Cain claimed that Cain brought her to his apartment in Crystal City, Va., where “he had taken advantage of” her, one of the sources told PJ Media.
The accuser claimed that after a large group of NRA workers had dinner and drinks together, Cain took her to his apartment where she spent the night. Neither source can confirm what happened after that.
Both sources, one male and one female, appear to favor the accusers version of the events over Cain's.
“Herman took advantage of seniority and power with a young woman. It was an abuse of power,” one of the sources said. Both sources also claim to be politically conservative.
One of the sources said that the accuser continued to work for the NRA for a few weeks after she made the allegations and was observed having several closed door meetings with the human resources department.
Cain has admitted that accusations were made while he was working for the NRA, but has maintained that those accusations were false.
A settlement was reached by two women who made accusations of sexual harassment by Cain while working for the NRA. Cain has shifted his positions on how much he knew about the settlements. In an interview with Fox News on Monday morning, Cain said he did not know if there was a settlement. Then on Monday afternoon, in another interview with Fox News, Cain said the settlement was “maybe three month’s salary or something like that.”
Politico reported that one accuser received $45,000 and The New York Times reported that the other accuser received $35,000. Both sums are significantly more than three month’s salary.
In an interview on Fox News Wednesday night, Mark Block, Cain's Chief of Staff, accused presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry of bringing the accusations forward to harm Cain's campaign.
“The actions of the Perry campaign are despicable. Rick Perry and his campaign owe Herman Cain and his family an apology,” Block said.
On Wednesday, a conservative talk show host in Iowa, who has been critical of Cain's candidacy, accused Cain of making “awkward and inappropriate comments” to female members of his staff. He would not say, however, what those comments were.
At least one of Cain's accusers has asked to be released from her confidentiality agreement. She provided a statement to the NRA on Thursday. Lawyers for the NRA are reviewing the statement to see if it can be released without violating the confidentiality agreement. The NRA will respond to the request on Friday.
In a Thursday interview with Politico, Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and executive editor of The Christian Post, said, "The most damaging thing would be if the reports are true and if he has indeed sexually harassed women. There is a real division here between evangelical and social conservative men, and evangelical and social conservative women. The men are much more likely to be forgiving. The women are not."
The sexual harassment charges do not appear to have hurt Cain's campaign thus far. In the first national poll taken since the charges were first reported, Rasmussen Reports shows Cain and former Massachusetts Governor Romney still in the lead with the support of 26 percent and 23 percent, respectively, of likely Republican voters. The margin of error is +/- 3 percent.