After Donald Trump stated in the second presidential debate that he has never sexually assaulted a woman the way he described on a leaked Access Hollywood tape, multiple women are coming forward to say that Trump inappropriately touched them.
Several of them are former contestants on Miss Universe, the beauty pageant Trump ran from 1996 until 2015. Others encountered Trump only once but never forgot it, such as two women who recently told their stories to the New York Times. One woman, former Trump Tower receptionist Rachel Crooks, alleges that Trump approached her in an elevator in 2005 and immediately began kissing her on the mouth. Another, former traveling businesswoman Jessica Leeds, says that she encountered Trump on a plane almost three decades ago and that he lowered her armrest and started grabbing her.
Joining this group of women is Cassandra Searles, Miss Washington USA who says she also had similar experiences with the Republican nominee for president. Here’s what you need to know about her and her accusations.
1. She Says Trump Grabbed Her Inappropriately
According to Yahoo News, Searles said on her Facebook page that while she was participating in the Miss USA pageant, Donald Trump treated her and the rest of her peers like cattle. In the comments section of her original post, Searles said that Trump once grabbed her without her consent.
“He probably doesn’t want me telling the story about that time he continually grabbed my ass and invited me to his hotel room,” Searles said.
The post was addressed to Searles’ fellow Miss USA contestants, and many of them chimed in in the comments section to share similar experiences. Paromita Mitra, Miss Mississippi USA 2013, wrote, “I literally have nightmares about that process.”
Searles actually made this post back in June, when it became clear that Trump was going to be the Republican nominee. But her allegation is earning more attention this week in light of the new sexual assault allegations against Trump.
2. She Believes That Donald Trump is a Misogynist
In her Facebook post, Cassandra Searles was clearly disgusted with the idea of Donald Trump being elected president.
After describing everything she experienced while working under Trump, Searles wrote, “Oh I forgot to mention that guy will be in the running to become the next President of the United States. I love the idea of having a misogynist as the President.”
In addition to the accusation of assault, Searles added that when Trump had the women line up, he treated them like cattle.
3. She is Currently in Law School
According to her LinkedIn page, Cassandra Searles is currently attending law school at the Seattle University School of Law. She has previously worked at Sterling Bank, and she is the executive producer of the Miss Seattle Scholarship Organization, which mentors young girls.
Searles graduated from the University of Washington-Bothell in 2012, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a dual concentration in Management and Marketing.
Over the years, Searles has worked with Junior Achievement, Habitat for Humanity, Race for the Cure, Walk MS, and The Big Climb for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
4. Other Miss Universe Contestants Have Made Similar Accusations
Searles is far from the first Miss Universe contestant to make these accusations against Donald Trump. There’s also Tasha Dixon, former Miss Arizona who alleges that Donald Trump would frequently walk in on his contestants changing. She says this happened on multiple occasions and that Trump would walk in to stare at them nude before they had a chance to cover up.
“I’m telling you Donald Trump owned the pageant for the reasons to utilize his power to get around beautiful women,” she said. “Who do you complain to? He owns the pageant. There’s no one to complain to. Everyone there works for him.”
And Miss Utah, Temple Taggart, told The New York Times that Trump once kissed her against her will.
5. Trump Has Denied These Allegations
As multiple allegations of sexual assaulted are leveled at Trump, the Republican nominee completely denies that they took place. He has not specifically commented on Cassandra Searles, but on Wednesday night, as The New York Times released their story in which two women accuse Trump of sexual assaulting them, the campaign put out a statement saying that this is complete fiction.
“It is absurd to think that one of the most recognizable business leaders on the planet with a strong record of empowering women in his companies would do the things alleged in this story, and for this to only become public decades later in the final month of a campaign for president should say it all,” the statement reads.
In recent weeks, Trump has been pointing to women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault, bringing several of them to the second presidential debate on Sunday. And on Twitter, campaign manager Kellyanne Conway recently said that victims of sexual assault should always be believed.
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