A Kentucky lawmaker and former gubernatorial candidate has been arrested and charged with assault and strangulation, The Washington Post reports.
Republican Rep. Robert Goforth was indicted by a Laurel County grand jury on Friday, according to the report. He has served in the House of Representatives since 2018. His district, the 89th, covers Jackson County and parts of Laurel and Madison counties.
The 44-year-old politician was arrested after a woman showed up at the Laurel County 911 dispatch center and said that Goforth had assaulted her with three children in the home at the time.
She said he had used an ethernet cable to strangle her to the point that she said she “had difficulty breathing and thought she was going to pass out,” according to a police uniform citation.
The woman had marks on her forehead, neck and arms and bruising on her leg. She said Goforth had tried several times “to hog tie her,” according to the citation.
According to The Post, “the victim told a sheriff’s deputy that she was able to leave after she promised to unlock her phone, which was the issue that started the altercation.”
Goforth ran for governor in the Republican primary last year, opposing then-Gov. Matt Bevin. During his campaign, a woman accused Goforth of sexual assault, which he denied.
The Kentucky Democratic Party issued a news release Friday evening renewing its call for Goforth to resign and calling for Republican leaders to pressure him to do so.
“State Representative Goforth should have resigned back in April and his party should have taken action against him when he refused to do so,” Democratic spokeswoman Marisa McNee said in the release. “This is not the first time a victim of Mr. Goforth’s violent assaults has come forward. Republican Leadership has ignored this for far too long, it is time for them to take action. Goforth needs to go.”
Goforth’s opponent in the November election, Mike VanWinkle, called for him to resign and drop out of the race.
“This district has suffered enough embarrassment and bad press over this affair,” VanWinkle said in a Facebook post. “Mr. Goforth needs to remain focused on his legal case, Domestic Violence issues, and marriage. He can no longer effectively represent the citizens of the 89th District.”
House Republicans said that they had just learned of the charges and did “not know the facts related to this case.”