Report: Victim, police accounts contradict Jefferson Smith

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by KGW and AP Staff

NWCN.com

Posted on October 9, 2012 at 3:21 PM

PORTLAND -- The accounts of an assault on a woman by mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith differ from what he revealed last week in a press conference, according to a report in Willamette Week.

Smith's victim told the newspaper he lied about the 1993 incident at an off-campus party at the University of Oregon. The unidentified woman, now 37, also said she still fears Smith and that he appeared unannounced on her doorstep last week with a campaign aide.

In response to the reports, Smith told OPB's Dave Miller Tuesday "my recollection is I struck her like I was knocking on a door."

Smith said he did not know the woman, and was only defending himself after she charged at him under the mistaken belief he had shaken the couch on which she was sleeping. But according to the police report, the woman told officers that Smith had tried to pick her up at a different party earlier that night and she repeatedly rejected his advances.

"Somebody I didn’t know was asleep on the couch. Somebody pushed her off. She came at me and started swinging at me. I tried to get her to stop," he said.

Smith acknowledged that the woman was injured and required a trip to the hospital for stitches, and that he paid her medical expenses.

"I clearly hurt her and I felt terrible about it then, I feel terrible about it now, I didn't mean to hurt anybody, I didn't mean to hurt her," Smith told KGW. "I tried to hold her off, and then shoving her away, clearly struck her."

Last week, Smith said he visited the woman's home to tell her the incident would likely come out in the press.

Smith said a previous report that he was ordered to have no contact with her was not true. Smith said Tuesday there was a six-month period at the time of the incident when they did not have any contact.

The woman told Willamette Week that Smith had earlier that night tried to pick her up at a fraternity party and that she had rejected his overtures. He mocked her morals, called her "snobby" and suggested that she change her mind after consuming alcohol, she told the paper.

At the party later, she was asleep on a couch when it was shaken. She awoke, saw Smith and presumed he had done that. She approached him and accused him.

According to a police report provided to Willamette Week by her lawyer, the woman touched Smith's chest, after which he grabbed her arms. He drew back and struck her with a closed fist to the eye, causing a one-inch cut.

"He really popped me," she told police at the time.

The woman, at 5 foot 3 and 115 pounds, is about a foot shorter than Smith.

A witness who took the woman to the hospital corroborated her story, according to the police report.

KGW's news partner The Oregonian also published a story about the contradictions.

"People need to look at the whole person," Hales told OPB in response to the story. "You have to expect in this process that your whole life is going to be on display."

"I am trying to do a better job of managing myself," Smith said. "I still blow up sometimes ... (but) try to make it obvious I am listening and show compassion I genuinely feel."
 

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