Officials at the Pottawattamie County and Mills County sheriff’s offices in Iowa did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the alleged assault. When reached for comment, a former spokeswoman for McSally said the former senator pointed to the social media post.
Former GOP Senator Says She Was Sexually Assaulted On Run
Former Arizona Senator Martha McSally came out and informed the public that she was sexually assaulted on Wednesday while on the run along the Missouri River.
Sen. Martha McSally had previously come out and spoke about being raped while in the military.
Former Arizona Sen. Martha McSally (R) said she was sexually assaulted during a run alongside the Missouri River, near the border of Iowa and Nebraska. https://t.co/qM6NIpUyBe
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 9, 2023
Fox News has more on the story:
“And I just had it put to the test,” she said. “A man came up behind me, and he engulfed me in a bear hug, and he molested and fondled me until I fought him off.”
“I was in a fight-flight-or-freeze, and I chose to fight,” she added. “I ran after him, I threw my water bottle at him, and I chased him into the brush, where he was then hiding as I called 911 and waited for the police to come. I don’t think they found him, and I’m OK.”
The former Republican senator said she was OK.
The incident occurred just before 10:55 a.m. in Council Bluffs, Iowa, near the Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park by the Interstate 480 overpass, the Council Bluff’s Police Department said.
It’s scary to have a former senator experience such a horrifying event.
It goes to show that something like this can indeed happen to anyone.
Former Arizona Sen. Martha McSally said Wednesday that a man engulfed her in a bear hug and molested her as she was out jogging earlier in the day, she detailed in a video posted to Instagram. https://t.co/ns9DhdW7oI
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) November 9, 2023
More from The Washington Post:
While serving in the Senate in 2019, McSally revealed during a Senate Armed Services subcommittee hearing on preventing sexual assault in the military that she was raped by a superior officer. McSally, the country’s first female fighter pilot to fly in combat, said that she didn’t report her assault then because she didn’t trust the system. She said then that she blamed herself, was “ashamed and confused,” and felt powerless about what happened to her.
“The perpetrators abused their position of power in profound ways,” she said. “In one case, I was preyed upon and raped by a superior officer.”
McSally has been open about her experiences with sexual assault and advocated for changing the way the U.S. military handles sexual assault. While running for Senate in 2018, McSally revealed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that she had been pressured by her high school athletic coach into having sex with him when she was 17.
McSally, who no longer works in politics, was appointed to the Senate in December 2018 to the seat once held by John McCain (R-Ariz.). She previously represented Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House for four years.