Anaheim Democratic candidate for Mayor Lorri Galloway, a former Anaheim City Council member, has posted to social media an accusation of sexual assault against Orange Juice Publisher and editor-in-chief Vern Nelson from 2012. She told TheLiberalOC she was inspired to come forward about this incident after reading all of the accounts of sexual abuse and sexual assault posted by women on social media. Galloway said she discussed the incident with her family in their home this weekend and it was painful for all of them.
Here’s her post on Facebook:
The #MeToo movement has given me clarity and strength to speak out and say what should have been said years ago.
5 years ago while I was serving on the Anaheim City Council, I was sexually assaulted by the publisher and editor of the Orange Juice blog, who had asked me for a ride home from an event after he had missed the bus. While I was driving in the car, he made sexual advances and bragged about his sexual prowess. He suddenly began grabbing me sexually and continued despite my efforts to push him off with my one free hand. I feared being overpowered by him and being raped. I told him that he needed to immediately stop or I was going to call the police. I ended up braking in the middle of the street and forcing him out of the car. I then parked at the nearest corner and sat for a while, in shock and wondering how the assault could have happened.
The “victim mentality” kicked in, and instead of focusing on the crime that had just been perpetrated upon me, I wondered what I did to cause it. I never followed up with authorities because I feared how I would be viewed if the public found out – his word against mine — how the news could hurt me, hurt my non-profit charity, and most of all hurt my family. I believed he would use his influence in the media to successfully deny what had happened. Also, there was guilt in that I had the power of being an elected official, and ran a charity that protected women from exactly this type of thing, and yet I still felt powerless to do anything about it.
After all this time feeling powerless, the courage of countless other women who have come forward in recent days has allowed me to step away from the guilt I have carried with me and move forward more committed to my mission than ever: lifting up women and families in need. Today I joined more than 145 lawmakers, legislative staffers and women leaders in politics in their open letter penned last week where collectively they declared, “Enough.”
Galloway does not name the publisher and editor of the Orange Juice Blog, but we will; it’s Vern Nelson, who’s currently in rehab for a drinking problem according to his managing editor Greg Diamond. Nelson will almost certainly deny this, but he is a public figure and she’s a lot more credible than he is. #Ibelieveher.