Former Senate Staffer Alleges Sexual Assault by House Speaker Pelosi’s Aide

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A former Senate staffer has come forward with allegations of sexual assault against a former aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to a police report obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Zahra Hajee, a former aide to San Francisco City Supervisor Rafael Mandelman and Senator Alex Padilla, claims Kevin Ortiz sexually assaulted her in March and April 2021. Ortiz, who is the co-president of the Latinx Democratic Club, denies the allegations, saying the encounters were consensual.

Ortiz provided screenshots of text messages to back up his claim, showing Hajee repeatedly requesting to meet up with him. However, Hajee has accused Ortiz of sexual assault, and a second woman has also alleged that Ortiz sexually assaulted her in 2019.

Ortiz has rejected both allegations, saying the encounters were consensual and sending both women cease and desist letters. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Ortiz is one of several San Francisco Democrats who have been accused of inappropriate behavior in recent months.

Jon Jacobo, who runs in the same political circles as Ortiz, faces allegations that he raped Sasha Perigo, and Ortiz has defended Jacobo against the accusations by sending Perigo a cease and desist letter.

The Democratic County Central Committee, which governs the city’s local Democratic Party, has become embroiled in a series of scandals. Members, such as Michela Alioto-Pier, have been criticized for supporting those accused of sexual abuse.

In response to the allegations, the DCCC has announced an initiative to create new standards of conduct for party clubs and members.

Emily Hallas
Emily Hallas
Breaking News Reporter. Previously, Emily was a member of U.S. Senator Tim Scott's communications team.

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