The mayor of the California wine country town of Windsor is maintaining his innocence and refusing to resign after five woman alleged in a newspaper report that he sexually assaulted them in separate incidents dating back 17 years.
Mayor Dominic Foppoli denied the women’s claims, writing in a statement that he is “completely innocent of the conduct alleged” in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Foppoli said Saturday night that the allegations were driven by politics, and he made clear that he would fight growing calls from elected officials that he step down.
“Despite the clear political and social machinations that are outwardly and obviously driving the effort to put my head on a spike, I never imagined I would be pursued as a trophy to warn those who dare to have a positive impact in public service regardless of ideology,” Foppoli wrote.
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As of Saturday, five women had come forward to say Foppoli assaulted them in incidents from 2002 to 2019.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office opened a criminal investigation, though many of the alleged incidents may fall outside the state’s statute of limitations, the newspaper said.
The mayor said he had never “pressured any female to engage in sexual conduct with me,” but did not address any of the specific accusations, which include forced oral copulation and rape.