LINCOLN–(KFOR/Nebraska Examiner Apr. 14)–A report published Thursday by news outlet, the Nebraska Examiner, indicates that Republican candidate for governor and Conklin Co. CEO Charles Herbster, allegedly groped women during an event in 2019.
The Examiner sites Peru Sen. Julie Slama, who confirmed, as she walked by Herbster at the Douglas County Republican Party’s annual “Elephant Remembers” dinner in 2019, that Herbster reached up her skirt, without her consent, and touched her inappropriately.
Another person at that event reportedly saw Herbster reach up Slama’s skirt. That witness and two others said they saw Herbster grope another young woman on her buttocks at the same event.
Six women, including the woman Slama saw being groped at the dinner, told the Nebraska Examiner that Herbster touched them inappropriately when they were saying hello or goodbye to him, or when they were posing for a photograph by his side.
According to the Examiner, another witness said he saw Herbster grope a woman during a large conservative gathering and was appalled. The witness, a combat veteran, asked the woman if she wanted him to intervene. She asked him to restrain himself because she didn’t want to cause a scene.
A 7th woman said Herbster once cornered her privately and kissed her forcibly. Herbster’s campaign denies all allegations.
Two of the alleged victims are considering to file police reports.
The Examiner also reports these incidents happened between 2017 and this year, according to those involved. The women ranged in age from their late teens to mid-20s at the time of the incidents.
On Thursday, Governor Pete Ricketts issued the following statement in response to the news of Herbster’s repeated sexual misconduct:
“This is beyond horrible. Charles W. Herbster should beg forgiveness of the women he has preyed upon and seek treatment. Sexual assault is criminal behavior and should disqualify anyone from elected leadership. I encourage my fellow Nebraskans to respect, support, and stand with these survivors, who had the courage to tell the truth about what happened to them. These brave women have Susanne’s and my full support.”
Former Nebraska Governor Kay Orr issued the following statement Thursday afternoon.
Another Republican candidate for governor, Jim Pillen, also had a statement regarding the allegations against Herbster.
“All Nebraskans are called to be examples to our families, and Nebraska leaders are called to be examples to our families, communities, and the state of Nebraska,” said Pillen. “Sexually assaulting women should be disqualifying for anyone seeking to serve as a leader. Suzanne and I are praying for the women targeted by Charles W. Herbster.”