In the face of a sexual harassment allegation, state Sen. Charles Schwertner, R-Georgetown, has hired two Austin attorneys and denied sending “any inappropriate texts as alleged” — “Period.” — in a new statement Wednesday from the attorneys.
Allegations that Schwertner had sexually harassed a University of Texas at Austin graduate student were first reported Tuesday evening by the Austin American-Statesman. According to the Statesman, Schwertner is accused of sending lewd text messages, including an image, to a student he had met at an on-campus event. A spokesman for the lawmaker said Tuesday that Schwertner “categorically denies any knowledge of the accusations,” but did not deny that Schwertner had had such communications with a student.
UT-Austin is investigating the allegation, a source with knowledge of the matter confirmed to The Texas Tribune Tuesday.
Schwertner has hired attorneys Perry and David Minton to represent him, the Statesman reported. The attorneys said they have been in touch with UT-Austin to “resolve this matter.” The law firm did not immediately return a request for comment from the Tribune.
“The Senator is devastated over these allegations and is concerned for the unnamed victim,” the lawyers said in a statement to the Statesman. “Our statements regarding the Senator will be proven in the days and weeks to come. Until then, Senator Schwertner deserves the courtesy of holding judgment until he is afforded the opportunity for a fair process to occur.”
Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.