The former aide who says Oregon state Rep. Matt Wingard pressured her to have a sexual relationship is speaking out publicly for the first time.
Twenty-three-year-old Samantha Berrier said in an interview Thursday that Wingard abused his powerful position to manipulate her. She says she was a young and naive 20-year-old when they met and spoke briefly at a College Republicans Christmas party in 2009. She says their paths crossed again two months later, he offered her a job and quickly began pursuing her.
Berrier says Wingard threatened to sue her if she didn't recant her story. She backed away from a text message she sent to investigators saying she was drugged and now says there's no evidence. But she stands behind her allegations that Wingard pressured her to have sex.
Wingard has apologized and dropped his re-election bid. He denies pressuring the young woman and says the relationship was consensual.