SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Zahra Hajee, a former aide to city Supervisor Rafael Mandelman and U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, reported to the San Francisco police that Kevin Ortiz, co-president of the Latinx Democratic Club and a former staffer for Representative Nancy Pelosi, sexually assaulted her twice in 2021. The San Francisco Chronicle obtained the April police report, where Hajee, now residing in Los Angeles, chose to identify herself.

Ortiz, through his attorney, denied the allegations, stating that the encounters were consensual and provided text messages as evidence. This controversy has sparked a significant conversation about sexual assault and harassment within San Francisco’s Democratic Party. A special committee has been formed to address these issues in the city’s political circles. Ortiz’s position on a local nonprofit board was temporarily affected by these accusations.

Hajee recounted to both the police and the Chronicle that Ortiz assaulted her in her apartment in March and April 2021, soon after they met. She reported these incidents to Pelosi’s office in 2022. Hajee decided to file a police report after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Ortiz’s attorney on April 24, 2022. The letter, from the Quadra & Coll LLP law firm, accused Hajee of making defamatory statements and warned of potential legal action.

After receiving the letter, Hajee felt compelled to speak out. “If I’m going to continue to get bullied while being quiet, I might as well just speak up and have something on the record,” she stated. Ortiz’s attorney, James Quadra, insists that Ortiz only engaged in consensual acts with Hajee, presenting text messages showing that Hajee sought to continue a relationship with Ortiz even after the alleged incidents.

Hajee acknowledged continuing to pursue a relationship with Ortiz after each incident, explaining that she was young and still processing what had happened. The Chronicle also spoke to another woman who received a cease-and-desist letter from Ortiz. This woman, who chose to remain anonymous, accused Ortiz of sexually touching her without consent in 2019, an allegation Ortiz also denies.

Ortiz’s attorney claimed that Hajee and the other woman were working together to defame Ortiz. Hajee reached out to the second woman in 2022 to encourage her to report Ortiz’s misconduct to Pelosi’s office. Both women spoke to Pelosi’s office but never received information on the outcome of the investigation. Ortiz left Pelosi’s office in June 2022.

Hajee and Ortiz first met in early 2021 while working for state Senator Scott Wiener and Representative Pelosi, respectively. They met in person on March 4, 2021, at Blondie’s Bar in the Mission District. Hajee did not consider this a date but wanted to get to know Ortiz. After drinking and conversing for a couple of hours, Ortiz joined her in an Uber ride to her apartment.

Once at her apartment, Ortiz allegedly followed her to her bedroom, despite her not inviting him. Over the next seven hours, Hajee claims Ortiz touched her inappropriately despite her resistance. Ortiz’s attorney argues that Hajee invited Ortiz home and that their interactions were consensual.

Hajee contacted Ortiz again two days later for a work-related issue and agreed to meet again on April 28, 2021. She reported that Ortiz provided her with drinks and continued to touch her inappropriately, mirroring the previous incident. Ortiz’s attorney maintains that these interactions were consensual and that Ortiz did not want to pursue a romantic relationship due to Hajee’s drinking habits.

Despite Ortiz’s denials, Hajee insists that she did not consent to the actions Ortiz took. “Consent is simple — and on several vulnerable occasions, I did not consent,” she said.

In June 2021, Hajee confronted Ortiz about his behavior, which led to a heated exchange. She reported these allegations to Pelosi’s office on January 1, 2022, and encouraged the second woman to do the same.

Ortiz remains a co-president of the Latinx Democratic Club. The Chinatown Community Development Center, a nonprofit where Ortiz served, placed him on indefinite leave after the allegations surfaced. Ortiz resigned from the center in June 2022.

The Democratic County Central Committee (DCCC) formed a subcommittee to address sexual misconduct within the party. While the committee aims to prevent future misconduct, some critics question the motivations and past actions of its members.