Former McCain Institute employee accused of sexual assault, suspended from CNN

Reports from the Washington Post on Wednesday detailed allegations against the former employee

ASU removed Paris Dennard from his position as events director for the McCain Institute for International Leadership in 2015, following a yearlong investigation into allegations of sexual assault, according to a new report.

The report surfaced Wednesday in a Washington Post article, prompting CNN, where Dennard worked as a staunch conservative commentator, to suspend him.

The allegations of sexual assault involved two women, according to the report by the Washington Post. 

In an email to The Post, Dennard said he believes the allegations are false, and called them “another politically motivated attempt to besmirch my character and shame me into silence for my support of President Trump and the GOP.”

The accusations, detailed in a 13-page internal report from 2014, included allegations of unwanted physical contact, such as touching a woman’s “neck with his tongue” and whispering in her ear that he “wanted to f--- her,” the Washington Post reported. 

He also allegedly “pretended to unzip his pants in her presence, tried to get her to sit on his lap and made masturbatory gestures,” according to the report.

Dennard brushed the accusations off as being done "jokingly," the Washington Post said.

An University official speaking on the basis of anonymity confirmed the authenticity of the report to the Washington Post.

Dennard was praised by President Trump on Twitter earlier this week, after a CNN segment where he sparred with former intelligence official Philip Mudd over allegations that he and other officials were profiting from their security clearances. 

This is a breaking story and will be updated with more information. 


Reach the reporter at isaac.windes@asu.edu or follow @isaacdwindes on Twitter.

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