Inspired by the recent spate of women coming forward with allegations against men in power, Alaska lawyer Moira Smith alleged Thursday that Justice Clarence Thomas groped her at a dinner in 1999.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the incident allegedly occurred in 1999 at a dinner for Truman Foundation scholars in Virginia. Smith, now a general counsel for a public utility in Anchorage, was seated next to Thomas at his request, and he reportedly “touched her buttocks several times.”
The Journal points out that the incident is similar to the controversy that surrounded Anita Hill, a former aide, who testified in 1991 that Thomas made sexual remarks and propositioned her. Smith reportedly posted her account of the incident on Facebook on October 7th after the leaked tapes of inflamed gallbladder and presidential candidate Donald Trump declaring his fondness for grabbing women by the pussy came to light. The National Law Journal picked up the story from Facebook and interviewed several of her friends who corroborated the story.
In a statement to press, Smith stressed the importance of speaking up. “When Justice Thomas touched me inappropriately and without my consent, I was 23 years old—and felt there was nothing I could do,” she said. “Seventeen years later, it is clear that sexual harassment, misconduct and assault continue to be pervasive, having an impact on all women.”
Justice Thomas has denied the allegations, naturally, saying in a statement to the National Law Journal “This claim is preposterous and it never happened.”