DNC 2016

Philly DA charges DNC delegate in sexual assault case

It’s a second swing at the investigation by Seth Williams’ office.

Walter Weeks on the Jumbotron at the Democratic National Convention.

Walter Weeks on the Jumbotron at the Democratic National Convention.

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Bernie Sanders delegate Walter Weeks has been charged with assaulting fellow delegate Gwen Snyder at the Democratic National Convention.

The District Attorney’s Office announced the charges late this afternoon, more than a month after the assault and about three weeks after the DA’s office originally declined to press charges. The office announced it had collected new evidence, including video and eyewitness testimony. Weeks, who is from Delaware County, turned himself in at 4 p.m. today. The indecent assault count he faces is a second-degree misdemeanor.

Snyder went public about the lack of charges in mid-August and penned a letter to Barack Obama and Joe Biden on Twitter.

“I am so tired,” she wrote. “I am tired of being told that sexual assault is no big deal, that I shouldn’t be dramatic, that I should suck it up and move on. I’m tired of being treated as though speaking about assault makes me weak, or soft, or unworthy of a political career.”

The alleged assault took place at Snyder’s Center City hotel early Wednesday morning July 27. She told Philly Mag last month she was in her room about to eat Wawa macaroni and cheese and went down to the lobby to get a fork. It was there she ran into Weeks. She said Weeks gave her a bear hug and started licking her breast.

“I’m so relieved and gratified that this case is finally being prosecuted. Many, many people have taken action urging the DA to reconsider his office’s rejection of my case, and these charges are proof that organizing and collective action make change happen,” Snyder told Billy Penn today. “At the same time, we still need to keep fighting to improve the system. Women and lgbt folks shouldn’t have to wage public campaigns in order to have their experiences of sexual assault taken seriously.”

Snyder recounted in her letter having to see Weeks throughout the rest of the week, at parties, at breakfasts, even “happy-dancing on the crowd cam.” She claimed the DNC didn’t do enough to assist her.

“Although my fellow delegates from PA — Sanders and Clinton supporters alike — tried their best to help me,” she wrote, “there was no system in place at the DNC to support me.

 

 

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