Three sexual harassment accusers at the Colorado Capitol to be honored by pro-choice group

Author: Joey Bunch - April 21, 2018 - Updated: May 10, 2018

sexual harassmentState Rep. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, right, hugs former legislative aide Cassie Tanner, left, who also filed a complaint publicly against Rep. Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

Three of the women who accused former state Rep. Steve Lebsock of sexual harassment, leading to his expulsion from the legislature, will received awards from NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, the organization said Friday.

Cassie Tanner, Holly Tarry and Rep Faith Winter, D-Westminster, will receive “Nevertheless, We Persist” awards at the organization’s annual gala on May 12.

They are among five women who accused Lebsock of 11 instances of crude and sexually inappropriate behavior. He denied the allegations and aggressively sought to question the claims. He was expelled from the legislature on a 52-9 vote on March 2, only the second lawmaker ever to be voted out of the Colorado General Assembly by fellow members.

This session five men — three Democrats and two Republicans — have been accused of misconduct. An expulsion hearing against Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, failed on April 2, when Senate Democrats could not collect the two-thirds majority in the 35-member chamber to expel him.

The charges have lead to a re-examination of the statehouse’s sexual harassment policy, as well as the investigatory process.

“These three women personify courage and what it means to speak truth to power,” NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado executive director Karen Middleton, a former legislator, said in a statement. “They changed the Colorado state Capitol for the better for everyone who works and serves there. And we know that what is happening in Colorado is happening around the country and around the world. The abuse of power that happens with sexual harassment will no longer be tolerated.”

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.