A woman has come forward accusing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of groping her over 15 years ago.
Moira Smith, a vice president and general counsel at Alaska-based energy company Enstar Natural Gas Co., told the National Law Journal that the justice grabbed her without her consent in 1999 when she met him at a dinner. Smith also posted about the incident on Facebook earlier this month before eventually deactivating her account.
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Her accusation comes as a petition is making its rounds to include Thomas in the new National Museum of African American History and Culture, where he is conspicuously missing as the second black Supreme Court justice.
It also comes at a time where sexual assault against women is at the forefront of the national conversation, following the multiple accusations of sexual aggression aimed at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Smith told the National Law Journal that Thomas “cupped his hand around my butt and pulled me pretty close to him” and later “squeezed” her behind during a June 1999 dinner for Truman scholars. She was 23 at time and a Truman scholar herself.
“He groped me while I was setting the table, suggesting I should sit ‘right next to him,’” Smith wrote on Facebook.
Clarence’s 1991 confirmation hearings to the Supreme Court were shaken up by a smiliar accusation that he sexually assaulted Anita Hill, a law professor who worked for him at the time. Hill testified that the Supreme Court Justice had sexually harassed her when he was her supervisor at the U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Thomas has vehemently denied Smith’s allegations. “This claim is preposterous and it never happened,” he said in the statement.