LONDONR A former British lawmaker was sentenced on Tuesday to two years in prison after a court found him guilty of three counts of sexual assault against two women he had hired.
Lawmaker Charles Elphicke, a Conservative Party member who represented the Dover Kent constituency in southeast England for nearly a decade, pleaded guilty in July to sexually assaulting a parliamentary aide and nanny living in his family home. in central London.
Both women stopped working for Mr. Elphicke after the attacks and told the court that the episodes had left them terrified and desperate.
On Tuesday, High Court Judge Philippa Whipple said Mr Elphicke had used his position of power to try to force women into sexual encounters.
You are a sexual predator who has used your success and respect as a cover, Judge Whipple said in sentencing remarks. In each case you have taken advantage of your position as their employer and abused their trust in you to impose them sexually.
Ms Whipple said Mr Elphicke would suffer up to a year in prison and then be eligible for parole.
His case was the latest in a string of complaints of sexual harassment and abuse in the British Parliament.
After a number of lawmakers were accused of sexual harassment in 2017, a new system was set up in Parliament for staff members to report inappropriate behavior. Prior to that, complaints were handled at the party whip.
a independent report commissioned by Parliament and published last year by Gemma White, a lawyer, described cases of physical abuse, with the chest gripped, buttocks flapping, thighs being caressed, and claws pressed / rubbed against bodies.
Many helpers, the report said, turned into significant mental and / or physical illnesses.
Mr Elphicke, 49, was suspended by the Conservative Party in 2017 when allegations of abuse were first reported to police. He returned to work in 2018, but was suspended again last year when the Crown Prosecution Service indicted him.
The wife of Mr. Elphickes, Natalie Elphicke, was elected to fill her husbands seat in the December election. She announced after her husband was found guilty in July that the couple would divorce.
Mr Elphicke has denied the allegations and his representatives said he would appeal the decision.
The women, whose identities were not made public because they were victims of sex crimes, both provided evidence during the trial.
The nanny, then in her 30s, told the court that she was working at the family home in 2007 when she was alone with Mr. ELPHICK.
Mr. Elphicke offered her a drink and tried to kiss her, before he grabbed her breast, she testified. When she escaped to her basement room, Mr. Elphicke ran after her, hit her bottom and sang Im a Wicked Tory, using the conservative name of the Conservative Party in England.
She quickly left work and was left homeless.
Judge Whipple said the episode left the woman terrified and terrified.
The woman agreed not to tell Mr.’s wife. Elphickes and did not report the attack to police until November 2017, when he heard his name on the radio after a second woman filed a complaint against him.
That woman was 23 years old when she started working for Mr. Elphicke as parliamentary aide. She told the court that in April 2016, Mr Elphicke tried to kiss her hard and cut off her breast after offering her a drink in his office.
Days later, while Mr Elphicke was driving and she was sitting next to him in the car, he forced his hand between her inner thighs and asked her to start having sex with him. After she refused, Mr. Elphicke started harassing him, Judge Whipple said.
Addressing Mr Elphicke directly, Judge Whipple said the two women told similar stories of shocking and cheeky behavior.
You took them alone with you, seduced them into a false sense of security with wine and work conversation and then attacked them without warning, trying to kiss them, grabbing their chests, blocking them down below you, she said.
They told the truth, Judge Whipple told of the women. You told a bunch of lies, not only to the jury, but as it turned out, to your wife, the whips and the police as well.
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