Former intern: Conyers mentioned slain intern Chandra Levy when rebuffed
Posted December 6, 2017 12:23 p.m. EST
WASHINGTON (CNN) — A former intern for recently retired Rep. John Conyers told The Washington Post that when she rebuffed his sexual advances, the Michigan Democrat referred to a slain female intern.
"He said he had insider information on the case," Courtney Morse told the Post. "I don't know if he meant it to be threatening, but I took it that way."
Morse, who is now 36 years old and said she was 20 at the time of the incident, said Conyers drove her home, put his hand on her hand while her hand was on her lap and propositioned her sexually. She told the Post she rejected his advances and that when she did, Conyers went on to mention the case of Chandra Levy, a Bureau of Prisons intern whose death was being investigated.
"I got out of the car and ran," Morse said, according to the Post.
Levy disappeared in 2001, and her skull was found in a Washington park. Levy's family alleged a romantic connection between Levy and then-Rep. Gary Condit, a California Democrat. Condit was questioned but never charged in connection with the death, and he denied any involvement in it.
Years later, a jury convicted Ingmar Guandique for the murder, but prosecutors dropped charges against him on appeal in 2016, and the US said it deported him earlier this year.
Morse said she quit her internship after the incident.
Morse's accusation, along with others the Post mentioned, came as Conyers mulled his future, and on Tuesday, Conyers announced he was retiring in the wake of mounting allegations against him.
Arnold Reed, Conyers' attorney, told the Post on Monday that the new allegations were "ripple effects."
"When one or two people come out, numerous other people come forward, saying, 'He did this to me. He did that to me,' " Reed said.
Reed told CNN that Conyers continues to deny any allegations.
"Allegations are allegations," Reed said. "It's not gospel truth.
Reed added that sexual harassment is wrong and must be "ferreted out," and suggested inequality in the response to allegations against Conyers and those against Alabama Senate nominee Roy Moore.
"America is showing her face, and it's not a good look," Reed said.
The resignation from the longtime Democrat marked the first member of Congress stepping down after sexual harassment allegations since the wave of recognition about inappropriate and predatory behavior began this fall.
Morse told the Post that she felt the congressman took the "easy way out."