BISMARCK, ND — A recently released file shows a shocking history and vile pattern of systematic abuse and sexual harassment towards female Legislative Council staff and interns by Rep. Luke Simons (R-Dickinson). The file was only released after reports about Simon’s vulgar and aggressive behavior towards female legislators and staff surfaced during the 2021 legislative session.
Though Simon’s inappropriate behavior and clear acts of sexual harassment in the workplace has occurred for several years, NDGOP leadership, specifically Assistant Majority Leader Scott Louser (R-Minot), has excused the grotesque behavior saying Simons is “weird”, “harmless”, “naïve”, and “just from the ranch”.
Instead of protecting the women Simons has victimized, and putting a stop to this years ago, Majority Leader Chet Pollert (R-Carrington) and Louser opted to do nothing and protect the abuser, evident by Louser inquiring “whether she [staff member] would have done anything to give Rep. Simons the impression she would be interested in his advances.”
Democratic-NPL Chair, Kylie Oversen said:
“The response to Luke Simons’ behavior is reprehensible. There are tones of victim blaming and making excuses for Simons as if he is a teenage boy who “doesn’t know better.” The file and more recent reports make clear: 1) Luke Simons is a predatory abuser who has committed multiple acts of sexual harassment and increasingly unsettling behaviors towards female colleagues; 2) NDGOP leadership knew everything about his actions but did nothing or blamed the women involved; and 3) Simons has made it clear that he is without the capacity for remorse, that he is unfit for public office, and that he should resign his seat immediately.”
“The North Dakota Democratic-NPL stands in full support of the women who have experienced sexual harassment, and we commend their bravery in coming forward and reporting these horrific incidents. We are left to wonder how many incidents have gone unreported. Unfortunately, Simons’ unhinged behavior continues without remorse, as he berates Legislative Council staff and calls for their resignation through a string of Facebook live videos.”