San Diego Unified trustee sued for sexual assault, harassment

SAN DIEGO --A political consultant who helped Kevin Beiser get elected to the San Diego Unified School Board filed suit against Beiser, alleging sexual assault and sexual harassment, it was reported Tuesday.

The lawsuit claims Beiser, a middle school teacher who has served on the board of the state's second-largest school district for more than eight years, used his political power and status to coerce the consultant into sexually abusive situations over the course of five years, the San Diego Union- Tribune reported.

The lawsuit claims that when the man, referred to in the lawsuit as John Doe, first met Beiser the man was a college student who wanted to get into politics.

Beiser gave Doe jobs and helped him fundraise, but Doe soon believed that was all contingent on him submitting to Beiser's sexual conduct, according to the Union-Tribune.

Beiser has served on the San Diego Unified School Board since 2010 and was re-elected for a third term in November. He served as school board president last year and his current term is set to expire in 2022.

The lawsuit alleges the abuse began after Doe met Beiser in 2013 in Washington, D.C., while Doe was a San Diego State University student interning in the capitol, according to the Union-Tribune.

Beiser offered Doe a job working on his school board campaign, then invited him to meet with some friends at a bar in D.C., but when Doe showed up he found himself alone with Beiser, according to the newspaper.

Beiser allegedly bought several alcoholic drinks for Doe, who became drunk, then Beiser took Doe to a hotel and sexually assaulted him, the Union- Tribune reported.

Beiser eventually offered Doe a job working on his 2014 school board campaign.

Over the course of several months while working on the campaign, Beiser "created a sexually offensive and hostile work environment" for Doe, the newspaper reported.

The lawsuit alleges that Beiser solicited sex from Doe and touched him inappropriately at Beiser's home, which served as the campaign's headquarters, according to the Union-Tribune.

After Beiser was re-elected to the school board in 2014, Doe avoided Beiser until 2016, when Doe sought his help for Doe's own bid for City Council, the newspaper reported.

The lawsuit alleges that Beiser continued to harass Doe and suggested that since he no longer worked for him, Doe was free to engage in sexual contact with him.

Doe objected but Beiser allegedly continued the abuse even after Doe and his girlfriend confronted Beiser in May 2016 and told him not to touch him sexually again, the Union-Tribune reported.

In January 2018, Beiser hired Doe as a consultant for his latest school board campaign, but a month later Doe told Beiser that he "was in a pretty weird headspace," then Beiser allegedly offered the use of his hot tub and suggested that Doe get a massage, according to the Union-Tribune.

Doe refused and was fired two months later by Beiser, who told Doe he didn't need his services anymore, according to the newspaper. When Doe came to Beiser's home to get his paycheck in April, Beiser allegedly assaulted him again.

Beiser currently teaches at Castle Park Middle School in the Sweetwater Union High School District, according to the school's website.

Beiser released the following statement to FOX 5 Tuesday evening:

"We were first made aware of these allegations less than 24 hours ago. There is no truth to these allegations. We believe they are politically motivated and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves."

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