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Allegations that he engaged in unwanted sexual conduct with the 18-year-old daughter of a longtime family friend and campaign donor have caused Oregon Representative David Wu to resign today despite no plans by the woman to file charges.
Referred to the House Ethics Committee, Wu had already announced that he had no plans to seek reelection. However, he has changed his tune and has decided to step down "upon the resolution of the debt-ceiling crisis."
Even before the David Wu sex scandal, the Congressman had been under heightened scrutiny by the Oregon press.
In February, the Associated Press reports that his staff demanded that he seek psychiatric treatment for erratic behavior. Soon after, he inexplicably released a picture of himself in a tiger costume, explaining it away as a mental health issue.
But on Friday, news of the sex scandal broke, elevating his alleged behavior beyond the bizarre.
While David Wu claims his encounter with the woman was consensual, the woman alleges that he was aggressive and it was unwanted. Because there were no witnesses, she has decided not to press charges.
Unlike the recent scandal with Anthony Weiner, the lack of evidence makes it slightly more surprising that David Wu has decided to resign. It's unlikely that he could be charged with assault or be found guilty of an ethics violation, as the law often frowns upon he-said-she-said scenarios.
However, given his self-proclaimed mental health issues, perhaps it is better for David Wu to resign, giving him the time to work on himself without the presence of the press.
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