State Senator Kagan accuses lobbyist of inappropriately touching her

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WMAR) - In the thick of the #MeToo movement, one Maryland state senator says she too was touched inappropriately by a lobbyist at a pub in March. 

The entire embrace lasts five seconds. 

In a video from lobbyist and former delegate Gil Genn, you can see an embrace between him and State Senator Cheryl Kagan. 

It happened at Castlebay Irish Pub on Main Street in Annapolis. 

Kagan says where Genn placed his hand as he was talking to her was out of line.

"The footage clearly shows him placing a hand non my back and sliding it down my body," Kagan said. 

She spoke about the conversation in Annapolis on Tuesday. She says from that moment, she wanted her and Genn's interaction to end. 

"I walked out. The evening was ruined fro me. I walked down Main Street, still really angry. If he could touch me in that way -- imagine what he does; has been doing for years to interns, junior staff, and yes -- legislators," Kagan said. 

But Genn says what happened didn't play out how Kagan described. 

His lawyer sent us security video from the exchange, as well as a four-page rebuttal to Kagan's claims -- a play-by-play to every moment seen in the video. 

In his statement, Genn says he placed his hand for a few seconds on Kagan's back, leaning in to talk above the noise of the music about election bills. 

From there, he says the two laughed at his comments. 

"It was really uncomfortable. I wanted the incident ot end. I wanted the interaction to end," Kagan said. 

She says Genn went too far and at a moment where women are speaking up about incidents where they've been harassed or provoked, it's time to take action.

"Initially this was a story about a lobbyist who put his hand where it was not welcome. Today, it's about integrity, honesty, and reputation," Kagan said. 

In the last days of the legislative session, Kagan is supporting a bill that'd change the legislature's anti-harassment policy to include lobbyists and other people who come into contact and work with lawmakers. 

"As well as add independent investigators to assess allegations and establish meaningful consequences to those who have been found to have acted inappropriately or illegally," she said. 

Genn is also in support of the bill, but maintains his innocence. 

As of now, there is no lawsuit, but Genn says he wants an apology. Kagan filed a complaint with human resources.



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