Lars Thoughts – Are Hugs Now Criminal?

By Lars Larson

We see lots of stories about sex offenders these days. Harvey Weinstein, Anthony Weiner, Bill Clinton, and closer to home here in the Northwest, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Portland Mayor Sam Adams.  

But I think that we should be careful about what qualifies as a sex offender. I think Senator Jeff Kruse from southern Oregon doesn’t fit into that group.  But in these sexually charged times, he’s been censured . Here’s the way the fishwrapper tells the story “State Sen. Sara Gelser said Monday that Sen. Jeff Kruse subjected her to inappropriate touching for years and that the conduct continued despite her reports to the Legislature’s human resources and legal staff.

Kruse says he’s not sure what he’s been accused of. Senator Sara Gelser also doesn’t offer up specifics. But some of the reporting in the Eugene register guard references the time that Senator Ginny Burdick witnessed Kruse walk up to Gelser on the floor of the Senate and wrapped his arms around her. In public. And Gelser says this has been going on for years.

I’ve asked Senator Kruse to come on this program and explain his behavior, or maybe explain why the bear hugs in public are now considered a form of sexual assault.

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