EXCLUSIVE: RI Legislator Accused of Sexual Harassment — During Sexual Harassment Training
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Rhode Island State Representative Ramon Perez is being accused of inappropriate behavior during sexual harassment training by fellow State Representative Moira Walsh on Wednesday night.
“Sexual harassment training at the state house went really well. Well, except for the male colleague, who when it was explained that it was abhorrent to ask for sexual favors, piped up to say, “How do you do that exactly?” said Walsh about the comments by Perez.
Walsh confirmed to GoLocalProv that it was Ramon Perez. “It’s all on camera. I’m both disgusted and disappointed,” said Walsh.
The training was held in response to a number of sexual harassment allegations put forth in late 2017 by female legislators at the General Assembly, which prompted the course to be offered to all legislators.
Latest In General Assembly Allegations
In October, State Representative Teresa Tanzi alleged that fellow legislators sexually harassed her in the past, but refused to name those alleged harassers. The Rhode Island State Police and Attorney General Peter Kilmartin have an ongoing investigation into Tanzi’s claims.
On Wednesday, a second female legislator confirmed to GoLocal that she overheard the comments, but requested anonymity.
Perez Under Fire Again
In June, Perez came under fire for what he said was accidentally distributing materials that contained pornographic tabs to colleagues.
At the time, Perez posted to Facebook to defend himself, posting the original offending screenshot and indicating he was sent the photo by someone else.
Meanwhile, Walsh has accused her Assembly colleagues of inappropriate behavior, telling WPRO in March that she was shocked by the “insane” amount of boozing that takes place at the legislature.
Late Wednesday night, Perez responded to request for comment.
“I know my English may be hard to understand at times, but I wish people would have asked me what I was trying to say before criticizing me. I was not joking when I asked a question to the presenter to explain to me more about the issue of sexual favors. I feel badly if anyone misunderstood what I was asking because I went there to learn about this very serious issue,” said Perez.
This story was first published 1/10/18 9:06 PM.