San Diego

San Diego Unified School Board Trustee Kevin Beiser Accused of Sexual Misconduct in Lawsuit

San Diego Unified School Board trustee Kevin Beiser has been accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment according to a lawsuit filed Monday. 

The plaintiff who is identified as "John Doe" in the lawsuit spoke with NBC 7 at his attorney's office. 

Doe was a San Diego State University political science student when he said he met Beiser in Washington, D.C. in June 2013. 

The plaintiff said he was invited to a bar to meet Beiser and a group of friends but when he arrived, he found himself alone with Beiser. 

The next day, the plaintiff said he awakened in a hotel room and became aware he had been date-raped, according to the lawsuit. 

Doe hoped Beiser would help him with his own political aspirations, but said Beiser "turned out to be a predator."

“I cannot stand silent and see further abuse of young men that are trying to make a way in politics,” Doe said.

Three months later, the plaintiff accepted a position with Beiser's school board campaign. The campaign was run out of the home Beiser shared with his husband Dan Mock. 

The complaint accuses Beiser of lounging around his home in his underwear, offering massages, and playing footsy and rubbing the plaintiff's leg at events. 

After the campaign ended, the plaintiff no longer worked for Beiser. 

Three years later, the plaintiff approached the school board member and asked for help to raise funds for a city council race within the city of San Diego. 

The plaintiff did not win a seat on the city council. 

In 2018, the plaintiff agreed to work for Beiser on another school board campaign. The lawsuit claims the sexual harassment continued with Beiser making suggestive offers to Doe. 

According to the complaint, Doe refused the offers.

“Again, it didn’t stop. It continued," Doe said. "From that moment I had the rule of consent. I had to yell “consent” at him for him to stop and he would pull back [and say it’s fine].. It was more like a joke, it was playful for him that I told him ‘Consent matters, stop touching me.”

In April 2018, Beiser terminated the consulting agreement. The plaintiff said that when he went to Beiser's home to pick up his final paycheck, he and Beiser had sexual contact.

The lawsuit alleges the sexual contact was unwanted by the plaintiff.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Beiser said, “We were first made aware of these allegations less than 24 hours ago. There is no truth to these allegations. We believe they are politically motivated and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves.”

Beiser, a Democrat, has represented District B on the school board since 2010. His current term expires in December 2022. 

The San Diego County Democratic Party (SDCDP) leader issued a statement saying the group stands in support of survivors of sexual assault and harassment.

"Due to the heinous nature of the allegations against SDUSD School Board President Kevin Beiser, the San Diego County Democratic Party Central Committee will consider a resolution calling for his resignation tonight," Will Rodriguez-Kennedy said. 

The leader of the Republican Party of San Diego County called the allegations "serious" and "shocking." 

Later Tuesday evening, the SDCDP voted 57-4 in favor of calling for Beiser's resignation.

The SDCDP said it would email its resolution to Beiser Wednesday.

Tony Krvaric has called for a "full and immediate" investigation by the San Diego Police Department. 

SDUSD Vice President John Lee Evans addressed the allegations with his personal opinion, not on behalf of the board. He said he has no way of knowing whether the allegations are true. 

"If it turns out any school board member engaged in such behavior, resignation is the only appropriate response," Evans said. 

The San Diego Unified School District told NBC 7, "As this matter will be handled by the courts, the district has no comment on the pending litigation."

“I think my client coming forward is very brave because he has everything to lose here,” Doe’s attorney Anna Yum said.

The lawsuit accuses Beiser of sexual harassment, hostile work environment, gender violence, sexual battery, sexual assault and emotional distress.

“Again, it didn’t stop. It continued. From that moment I had the rule of consent. I had to yell “consent” at him for him to stop and he would pull back [and say it’s fine].. It was more like a joke, it was playful for him that I told him ‘Consent matters, stop touching me.”

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