MURRIETA (CBSLA.com) — The mayor of Murrieta is facing graphic accusations of sexual abuse.
The woman making the claims against the mayor says she plans to file a lawsuit.
CBS2’s Tom Wait spoke to the woman Thursday and also got a response from the mayor regarding the allegations.
“I felt incredibly used and stained,” says Kathleen Smith, the alleged victim.
Emotional but determined to tell her story, San Diego County resident Kathleen Smith went public Thursday with accusations that Murrieta Mayor Harry Ramos sexually abused her.
“I was absolutely stunned and had no idea what to do,” Smith told Wait.
Smith says the abuse happened while she and the mayor were at a Chamber of Commerce mixer in January. Smith worked for a local radio station and the mayor, who is married, attended the event. She says the mayor accosted her at the event and in the parking lot.
“He overpowered me, kissing me again, putting his tongue in my mouth. His hand up my skirt, squeezing my legs,” Smith alleges.
As for why she didn’t come forward sooner, Smith says she was influenced by her past.
“As the survivor of past abuse, finding my voice to say no … is very hard,” she said.
At his home Thursday, the mayor responded to the allegations.
“It’s 100 percent not true,” Ramos said.
Wait asked: “You’re saying she’s lying?”
“I feel. I feel really bad. I heard from her comments, she looked like she’s in a lot of pain from a past experience and I feel bad for her that she’s had that experience but I never sexually assaulted her,” Ramos said.
The mayor says he plans a news conference of his own Friday.
Smith’s attorneys say it’s too early to say what kind of damages they would seek, but they would expect the damages to run somewhere in the six or seven figure range if they win their case.