Lobbyist accuses New Mexico senator of sexual harassment

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SANTA FE, N.M. – There are new calls for the resignation of New Mexico state Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto. Marianna Anaya, a lobbyist, released a letter Tuesday claiming the senator sexually harassed her multiple times over the years.

It is a public plea for accountability. Anaya said she is just one of his victims. Levi Monagle is representing her.

“What Marianna is asking for, what a lot of women at the Roundhouse have been asking for, for a long time, is simply to be treated with basic human respect,” said Levi Monagle, Anaya’s attorney. “To not be harassed or bullied for rejecting overtures, work as professionals and do their job. That is an incredibly low bar.”

Anaya is a lobbyist who works closely with lawmakers to advocate for legislation. According to her letter, her story starts in 2015, when she was a staffer for then-Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham.

She alleges Senator Ivey-Soto groped her at a reception they both attended.

“This was at the beginning of Marianna’s career as an advocate and lobbyist and I think we’ve heard from a lot of women in our society about the professional pressures they face to stay silent,” said Monagle.

But the letter also mentions incidents as recent as this past session. She blames the lawmaker for stalling the high-profile voter rights bill she advocated for. She claims he “forcefully” made her drink wine during a conversation discussing the bill. She said that after denying his advances, the bill began to suffer.

In the letter, she mentioned other women, saying he has a "pattern of sexually abusive behavior."

“Once someone like Marianna musters the courage to do that and steps forward and calls abuses of power to account there can be ripple effects or there can be dams that burst and it’s just a matter of time before we know what’s going to unfold from this,” said Monagle.

KOB 4 reached out to Ivey-Soto but have not heard back. Meanwhile, Monagle said they are filing a formal anti-harassment complaint. It will go through a legislative process involving investigations and possible sanctions.