New York state Senate candidate Julia Salazar on Monday said she was sexually assaulted by a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I’ve been informed that a story is about to run which identifies me as a victim of sexual assault. Before this runs, I want to come forward and confirm that I was a victim of sexual assault by David Keyes—the Prime Minister of Israel’s spokesperson to foreign media,” she wrote. “This story appears to be an effort to cast doubt on my, and other women’s, accusations against Keyes... I strongly believe sexual assault survivors should not be outed in this way, and am saddened by the effect this story may have on other women.” Salazar, a Democratic socialist, said in her post that she’s spoken to journalists “on background” about her assault, but never on the record. After Salazar released her statement, The Daily Caller published a story saying that one of her former friends had contacted the outlet, claiming that Salazar had accused Keyes of assault in a Facebook post that she later deleted. Wall Street Journal reporter Shayndi Raice responded to Salazar’s statement, tweeting that she once had a “terrible encounter with David Keyes.” “The man had absolutely no conception of the word ‘no.’ No matter how often I said no, he would not stop pushing himself on me,” she wrote.
This comes after it was revealed that Salazar did not graduate from Columbia University as she previously implied, which prompted government watchdog Citizens Union to drop its endorsement of her candidacy. The New York Daily News reports that an anonymous op-ed posted in The Times of Israel—written by a woman claiming she graduated from Columbia—alleges that Keyes forced himself on her in his apartment and would not let her leave until she “submitted” to him. (Keyes is a former Beast contributor.)