Updated 1:43 p.m.
Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) acknowledged questions surrounding a sexual encounter with a teenage woman are “very serious,” but would not elaborate on the matter.
“This is very serious, and I have absolutely no desire to bring unwanted publicity, attention or stress to a young woman and her family,” the Democrat said in a brief statement.
Wu’s statement came in response to a story posted Friday night by the Oregonian which, citing multiple sources, reported that “a distraught young woman” called Wu’s Portland office this spring, “accusing him of an unwanted sexual encounter.”
The newspaper wrote: “When confronted, Wu acknowledged a sexual encounter to his senior aides but insisted it was consensual, the sources said. The woman is the daughter of a longtime friend and campaign donor. She apparently did not contact police at the time.”
“In the voice mail, the young woman accused Wu of aggressive and unwanted sexual behavior, according to sources with direct knowledge of the message and its contents,” the Oregonian wrote. The newspaper said its reporting suggests the woman graduated from high school in 2010 and that the alleged assault occurred over Thanksgiving weekend last year.
The late Friday night report is the latest in a series of unflattering reports about erratic behavior that have put Wu on the defensive in recent months and stretch at least as far back to his 2010 re-election bid.
In February, Wu said that sending photos of himself in a tiger costume to his staffers was “inappropriate.” The Congressman said he is getting mental health treatment and acknowledged he is taking medication.
The Oregonian reported that this is not the first accusation of a similar nature. From its story:
In 2004, The Oregonian reported on a 1976 case when Wu was a student at Stanford University and was disciplined for trying to force an ex-girlfriend to have sex.
Wu refused interview requests related to the Stanford incident for months and hired an attorney who aggressively attacked the paper’s reporting and sought to stop publication. When the story ran three weeks before the 2004 election, Wu quickly apologized for his “inexcusable behavior” and was re-elected.