A week after a woman accused an assembly candidate of battery in an Encinitas bar, an investigation by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) has found the allegation to be unsubstantiated.
The woman said California Assembly candidate Phil Graham kissed her without consent in the First Street Bar on the evening May 14 and followed her outside of the bar where he attempted to have her touch him sexually.
SDSO Sexual Assault Detectives began conducting an investigation into the alleged incident on May 21 (a day after the woman reported it) that included interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance video from inside and outside of the business. SDSO says the evidence disproves the woman’s account.
As a result, the case is being closed as unfounded, pending any new or additional information, SDSO said.
The San Diego businessman is the stepson of former mayor and retired Governor Pete Wilson and has been endorsed by the San Diego GOP and Supervisor Ron Roberts, among others.
Graham’s campaign consistently denied the allegation. Spokesperson Mike Foster released the following statement:
"Yesterday, the San Diego Sheriff’s Office rejected as unfounded a false claim that had been filed against Assembly candidate Phil Graham.
We appreciate the prompt action of the Sheriff’s Office in thoroughly investigating the claim, and in determining the truth in this matter.
Phil will continue his campaign’s focus on the significant issues that matter to voters like lowering taxes, creating jobs, and helping our economy grow."