Anna Sheffer
July 26, 2018 11:33 am

Even before he entered the political realm, President Donald Trump was notorious for degrading women. Since his presidential campaign, at least 16 women have alleged that Trump sexually assaulted them in the past — accusations that the White House continues to deny. And now it seems as though the president has inspired at least one instance of sexual misconduct. A former student at the U.K.’s University of Lincoln is on trial for sexually assaulting two women and quoting the current U.S. president before one of his attacks.

According to Lincolnshire Live, the Lincoln Crown Court heard the charges against Hugo Penfold on July 24th. The 21-year-old is accused of sexually assaulting one of his victims three times between October 2016 and March 2017. In March 2017, he also reportedly raped the same woman in her apartment. The woman testified before the court that she had rejected him multiple times and even reported him to University of Lincoln police on one occasion. Once, before he assaulted her, she said Penfold quoted Trump’s notorious Access Hollywood tape.

“He found it funny,” she added. “I said it wasn’t funny and asked him to leave.”

According to BBC News, Penfold is also accused of raping another woman in November 2016 when she was drunk. At the trial, Penfold claimed to police that both women had consented to sex with him, and that they only complained because they “regretted” it. BBC News reported today, July 26th, that the trial’s jury has been dismissed for legal reasons and that the retrial has not yet been scheduled.

While we of course can’t blame Penfold’s actions on Trump’s words, we also can’t deny that a leader’s words and actions matter, and they help set a precedent for what is normal and acceptable behavior. If the leader of the United States refuses to respect women, is it really so surprising that others follow suit?

Needless to say, we can’t wait to exercise our right to vote in the coming midterms, and we’re biding our time until 2020 to make sure Trump knows exactly what we think of his example.

Advertisement