April 22—JEFFERSON CITY—State Sen. Steve Roberts Jr.. said Thursday “me and my family didn’t pay a dime” to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman who accused the congressional candidate of sexual assault.
But an insurance company that Roberts’ family had a policy with paid Amy Harmsthe woman who accused Roberts, $100,000 as part of a settlement agreement, Roberts’ congressional campaign announced Thursday.
“Against the wishes of Mr Robertsan insurance company has reached a settlement agreement, which Mrs Harms has now violated” Simone Kimble, deputy director of communications for Roberts’ campaign, said in an emailed statement. “(No more) steve robert nor did anyone in the Roberts family pay anyone a dime.”
The statement followed a Tuesday report in The Intercept that Roberts had settled a civil lawsuit brought by Harms for $100,000 in 2019. Harms accused Roberts of sexual assault four years earlier in a Saint Louis bar.
The Intercept reported that the settlement included a confidentiality agreement and a waiver of claims against Roberts.
Roberts’ campaign sent the Post-shipment a June 2017 letter from an insurance company, Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchangeor PURE, which stated “we may investigate and settle any claim or lawsuit at our discretion”.
The company, based in White Plains, New Yorksaid it does not cover expenses related to sexual assault or injury resulting from criminal or intentional acts.
“The PURE policy specifically excludes (sic) coverage for sexual assault and injury expected or intentional by an insured,” the letter states. “In light of these exclusions, we see no coverage under your policies for the alleged (sic) claims.”
But the insurance company never found Harms’ claims to be true, said Ryan Hawkinsanother campaign spokesperson.
“What he’s basically saying is if you’ve done that, you have no coverage,” he said. “The insurance company paid, which verifies he had insurance coverage.”
A copy of the letter was sent to Roberts at his parents’ house Westmoreland Square house in the Midwest. Robert’s father, Steven C. Roberts Sr.., is a former Saint Louis alderman and property developer; in 2016, he was appointed Deputy Chief Saint Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts.
Harms, who did not respond to requests for comment Thursday, said in a Twitter thread earlier this week that Roberts was guilty and felt no remorse.
“He’s done it before. He’d do it again,” Harms said. “Please keep that in mind when you are in his presence, not that you would be at fault if he hurt you. No one could ever deserve that.”
In an emailed statement, his attorney, Matt Ghioaccused Roberts of forcing his client to publicly respond to his accusations.
“Senator Roberts decision keeps talking about Mrs Harm allegations to the press and to authorize his campaign spokesperson in Congress to examine the merits of my client’s claims are in violation of the agreement Senator Roberts and Mrs Harms achieved in 2019,” Ghio said. “Senator Roberts violated the agreement first, more than once. Senator Roberts caused my client to respond publicly to defend herself against her defamatory comments and those of her campaign.”
Harms claimed Roberts locked her in the corner of a downtown bar in 2015 with his chair and fondled her under a table.
the St. Charles County prosecutor, mandated because of potential conflicts with the Saint Louis circuit attorney’s office, did not press charges in the case.
Roberts runs against the incumbent WE representing cori bushD-Saint Louisin the August 2nd primary.
Harms is one of two women to publicly accuse Roberts of sexual misconduct.
In 2016, a year after Harms accused Roberts of sexual assault, Cora Faith Walker accused him of rape. At the time, Walker and Roberts were running for state representative; in a letter to Missouri House leadership, Walker accused Roberts of raping her. He then sued Walker for defamation, she filed a counterclaim and they reached a confidential settlement in 2019. He disclosed the terms of the settlement on Monday because, he said, political enemies were using the allegation rape against him.
Walker, who left the Legislative Assembly to become policy director of St. Louis Countydied suddenly on March 11 at the age of 37. A cause of death has not been released. Roberts entered the congressional race on March 28.
Kimble, in his statement Thursday, blamed the new ballot on Bush and his supporters.
“Here is cori bush and his supporters again…recycling fake negative stories in an effort to distract from his indefensible voting record,” Kimble said. “This false allegation has been thoroughly investigated by the St. Louis Police Department and an independent prosecutor. It was dropped because it didn’t happen.”
Karthik GanapathyBush campaign spokesman said “this is not a political conspiracy”.
“Fortunately, there are a lot of people in Saint Louis who believe women and believe victims of sexual assault when they speak out,” Ganapathy said in a statement. “It is absurd and frankly disgusting to blame Rep. cori busha survivor herself, for people across the district raising valid concerns about by Steve Roberts well-known and well-documented history of sexual assault. »
Harms filed a lawsuit in 2017 after prosecutors failed to pursue charges against Roberts.
The lawsuit was dismissed by both parties in October 2019according to online court records.
At a press conference on Thursday, Senate Minority Leader John RizzoD-Independencehe was asked if he had spoken to Roberts about the allegations and the Intercept article.
“I don’t read the Intercept,” Rizzo said. “He’s a colleague I’ve worked very well with, and I don’t know anything about this stuff from years ago.
“He was someone we leaned on here in the Senate do a good job and personally I have no other reason to think otherwise,” Rizzo said.
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