Congresswoman says she was sexually abused by her track coach in high school

Martha McSally (R-AZ). (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A Republican congresswoman seeking to fill Senator Jeff Flake’s soon-to-be vacated Arizona seat in the U.S. Senate has shared her #MeToo story, alleging that she was sexually abused by her high school track coach when was 17. Speaking with The Wall Street Journal, U.S. Representative Martha McSally said that she decided to enter the Air Force — where she later became the first woman fighter pilot to fly in combat — after she was taken advantage of by her coach at St. Mary Academy-Bay View in Riverside, Rhode Island.

“Even though he didn’t physically force me, it certainly was an emotional manipulation,” said McSally. “It took a while for me to come to a place where I understood what the hell I had been through. At the time, I was so afraid. I now understand — like many girls and boys who are abused by people in authority over them — there’s a lot of fear and manipulation and shame.”

The coach, identified by the Journal as Jack Dwyer, has responded to the allegations by calling McSally “nuts” and “the most scheming woman I ever met.” McSally, Republican leaders’ preferred replacement for Flake, who is retiring, is one of only a few congresswomen to speak out about their experiences with sexual harassment and abuse. Jackie Speier, a Democratic congresswoman from California, Linda Sanchez also a representative from California, and Rep. Betty McCollum a Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota have all shared stories of enduring sexual harassment by older members of the political establishment.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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