Colorado Rep. Susan Lontine publicly accuses Sen. Larry Crowder of harassment

She decided to go public Thursday because she says Crowder didn’t accept responsibility for his actions during a meeting this week.

District 35 Senator Larry Crowder. The first day of the Colorado state legislative session. Jan 11, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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A Colorado Democratic state lawmaker says she was sexually harassed by Republican state Sen. Larry Crowder.

Rep. Susan Lontine said she filed a confidential complaint against Crowder in November.

She said an investigation found her allegations to be credible. She decided to go public Thursday because she says Crowder didn’t accept responsibility for his actions during a meeting this week.

“I hoped the matter could be handled privately, that Sen. Crowder would acknowledge that his actions were unacceptable, that he would accept an appropriate punishment and that the investigation would be a part of the record should a pattern of behavior exist or present itself,” Lontine said in a statement. “But in a meeting this week with Sen. Crowder and Senate President Kevin Grantham, Sen. Crowder expressed little remorse and he didn’t take responsibility for his actions. Fearing my continued silence would enable attempts to gloss over this serious issue, I have chosen to speak up because the public needs to know.”

Lontine accused Crowder of pinching her buttocks in the House of Representatives in 2015 and later making an inappropriate sexual comment, allegations first reported by Rocky Mountain Community Radio.

Crowder told Colorado Politics that he doesn’t remember the touching incident and didn’t find any video of them interacting in the House that day.

Crowder also says he didn’t believe his comment to Lontine in a separate incident was inappropriate at the time.

This story has been updated with a statement from Rep. Lontine.