Katie Brennan, the governor of Phil Murphy's government, who has indicted a former employee of the rape, said in dramatic testimony on Tuesday that the progressive government would hopelessly protect her until her allegations threatened the governor.
] "I had access to the highest positions of power, and every move left my requests unanswered," Brennan said in the Trenton State House. "Somehow it was not a priority to address my sexual assault … until he met her."
Brennan first said that when she went to the Wall Street Journal, which published her report in October, she found some semblance of justice.
"No survivor should have to tell the story to the newspaper to be heard." Brennan said.
In her 20-minute opening speeches and subsequent exchange with legislators, Brennan gave a steely and powerful testimony. She is the first person to appear before the Special Committee of the State Legislature to investigate how Murphy's team dealt with their allegations.
Brennan told the days, weeks and months after she was raped by Albert J. Alvarez, who resigned as chief in October, of the staff of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.
She started her opening remarks with the hours immediately after she said she had been raped and said that she could not discuss the criminal case currently being investigated by the Middlesex County Procuratorate. [1
Previously, Brennan, 31, chief of staff of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, told The Wall Street Journal that Alvarez had raped her in April 2017 after bringing her together after a campaign Home in Jersey City.
Alvarez asked to use the bathroom and drink water. Arriving at her apartment, Brennan said, Alvarez pushed her onto the couch. He took off her pants and underwear, took off some of his clothes and forced himself to join her. She said she threw him away and locked herself in the bathroom.
First, Brennan called her husband, who was abroad. The next day, she said she was relying on Justin Braz, now Deputy Chief of Legislature in Murphy's administration, whom she described as a personal friend, with the understanding that he would keep it private.
"I needed someone, Mr. Alvarez, to find out what happened to me," she said. I knew that if I wanted to continue my career in housing and government in New Jersey, if I was further involved in the Murphy campaign for the government, I would inevitably cross the road. Mr Alvarez, then director of Latino and Muslim for the Campaign needed support and protection.
The following should you know about the key figures of the sexual assault hearings [in August] In 2017, Brennan joined the campaign.
"As a victim of sexual assault," she said, "I should not be the one to mine
After Murphy won the governor's race in November, Bre Nnan said Alvarez had been appointed deputy HR director of the transition team, who had also been responsible for setting decisions, and to renegade Brennan Brennan's lawyer sent a letter to Alvarez requesting that he write himself down from any role in her recruitment.
On December 1, 2017, Brennan stated that she gave Braz permission to alert Murphy's Transitional Adviser to criminal prosecution There could be charges. She said he had submitted her allegations but not her name. When asked if she feared reprisal if her name became known, Brennan said, "Of course."
That day, however, the Hudson District Procuratorate informed her that she would not prosecute.
"There are no words to convey the emptiness and disappointment I felt," Brennan said. "They did not believe people would believe me."
"I told Mr Braz that the trial was not progressing, but now the transitional adviser knew that Mr. Alvarez had sexually assaulted someone. I was hoping for justice in other form. It never came. "
Brennan told legislators she was under constant threat of meeting Alvarez, and although she was nervous, she went to Murphy's chief advocate Matt Platkin.
" I was confident the administration would help me Follow justice and protect my workplace, "she said." I thought that if a government could carry out progressive reforms, it would be that. "
After the governor's senior ethics advisor advised them, the state could not take action Since neither Alvarez nor Brennan were state employees at the time of the government, Brennan said she personally sent an e-mail to Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy.
"I sent the e-mail to the governor because I run out of options, "she said." Brennan asked for a "sensitive matter" and received an answer from Murphy that he was "on it". The governor's office did not follow to schedule a meeting, she said.
Shortly after her e-mail exchange with the governor, Brennan stated that she had received a call from campaign lawyer Jonathan Berkon. She did not mention what the "sensitive matter" was, or even the name of Alvarez.
"I did not say anything, he told me Mr. Alvarez would leave the government." Brennan said.
Loretta Weinberg, Majority Leader in the State Senate, replied: "Someone must have told him."
Two months later, Alvarez was still employed in the state, Brennan went to the magazine.
In a statement released after nearly five hours of hearing, Murphy praised Brennan's courage.
"She's right: no one should have to go through an ordeal to hear his voices. "Said the statement of the governor. "We have to survive on survivors of sexual assault and we must go from a place where the prosecutor is believed."
Murphy also noted that he has launched an independent investigation into Alvarez's attitudes. At the request of the governor, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal developed new procedures used by law enforcement agencies to make the system "victim-centered". This includes allowing victims of sexual assault to meet prosecutors who are engaging in an offer before rejecting it
"I am determined to work with Attorney General Grewal and the entire state government to ensure that New Jersey It is a place where justice is the right for every human being, and everyone is treated with dignity and respect. They seek it, "said Murphy's statement.
Alvarez has denied the allegations through his lawyer. The Hudson District Procuratorate refused to file charges. However, since her public disclosure of her story in October, the Department of Public Prosecution has assigned her to The Prosecution in Middlesex County to review the evidence. Brennan told the Star-Ledger on Friday that she had not come in contact with the authorities not yet published.
Brennan is the first of possibly more than a dozen witnesses that the New Jersey Legislative Select Oversight Committee is expected to call in the coming months. The aim of the committee is to investigate the recruitment practices of the Murphy government and to expose weaknesses in the criminal justice system that may prevent further rape cases.
Brennan encouraged the committee to use its experience to make changes to the criminal justice system and how victims are treated. She described a difficult encounter with the policeman in Jersey City, who had written the police report about her rape. She described the report as "biased" and the officer as someone who had not trained much with survivors.
"What you do today is huge. They are committed to women, "said United States Representative Holly Schepisi, R-Bergen, who was the victim of sexual assault three decades ago. "One of my biggest regrets was the question of whether other women had been attacked," she said.
Lawmakers' criticisms of how Murphy's team dealt with Brennan's allegations and their decision to conduct hearings burdened the relationship between the governor and the Democrats who control the regime's Legislature.
The hearings could help shape the public opinion of a rookie governor, further burden Murphy's relationship with lawmakers when trying to implement legal marijuana and a minimum wage of $ 15, and his image as an advocate Women's Rights and Allies of Women Harm #MeToo Movement.
NJ Advance Media Staff Writer Brent Johnson contributed to this report.
Samantha Marcus can be reached at smarcus @ njadvancemedia. com Follow her on Twitter @samanthamarcus .
Susan K. Livio can be reached at email@example.com Twi tter @ SusanKLivio .
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