Trent Franks, congressman, accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old

A 57-year-old Georgetown woman has accused Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) of sexually abusing her in 1983, when she was 14.

Franks, who has called the allegations “politically motivated,” does not plan to step down from the House, and a formal censure in the House of Representatives is not likely.

Franks referred the matter to his lawyers, and the House Ethics Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Franks issued the following statement:

“I greatly regret the circumstances that have caused me to be drawn into this matter. I recognize that my actions then — as they are now — did not meet the standard I set for myself or the standard that should be set for any member of Congress.

“While nothing that has happened in the last 35 years changes the fundamental fact that I never abused or assaulted any member of my family or any other person, nor did I ever ask anyone to do so. Because of this, I expect that I will be asked to resign from Congress, and I will refrain from doing so.

“This process includes a full and fair investigation by the House Ethics Committee, which I am fully cooperating with.”

“Given that this matter has been under review by the House Ethics Committee for the last 35 years, it would be improper for me to comment further during the committee’s inquiry.”

Franks has not been charged with any crime and has not been convicted of any crime, which means a member of Congress can be accused of child sexual abuse without being legally required to step down.

Franks has faced numerous other accusations of sexual misconduct in the last two years, including that he sent harassing text messages to a former congressional staffer and two former female staffers of another former aide.

In early 2017, Franks refused to resign after admitting he sent inappropriate text messages to a former congressional staffer.

Franks, 57, was elected to the House in 2002. He represents a western district that reaches into the Phoenix suburbs.

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