ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Minnesota Senate staff member filed a complaint Tuesday alleging that Democratic state Sen. Dan Schoen sent her an uninvited, sexually explicit photo in 2015.
Ellen Anderson filed her complaint with the Senate’s human resources department. Anderson told Minnesota Public Radio that Schoen used Snapchat, a mobile messaging app, to send her a message that included a photo of a man’s genitals.
Schoen, from St. Paul Park, was a House legislator then but was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2016.
Schoen’s attorney, Paul Rogesheske, denied that his client sent that kind of message to Anderson or any other woman. Rogesheske said he and Schoen will “address the complaint as it comes.”
Anderson, who coordinates digital communications for Senate Democrats, said receiving the photo didn’t make her feel unsafe at the time. “Now it’s becoming clear that it sounds like that’s a pattern,” she said.
“One mistake is one thing,” Anderson said. “A history of doing something like this is something very different.”
Schoen is accused of having made unwanted advances toward women and groping a woman from behind. He told the online news outlet MinnPost that the allegations were taken out of context or, in some cases, are false.
Despite pressure from Gov. Mark Dayton and other Democratic leaders, Schoen said he doesn’t intend to resign.
A friend of Anderson said she was present when the message came through. Lyssa Leitner said she was peeking at the messages on Anderson’s phone. She said she asked Anderson who she was communicating with and Schoen was the answer.
“I said, ‘Were you expecting that? Had that happened before?’ She said, ‘Nope, that was unexpected.'” Leitner told MPR. “Clearly I do remember her yelping in an ‘oh my gosh’ type moment.”
Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org