A Pima County Sheriff’s report has surfaced, stating that CD2 Democratic Congressional Candidate Yahya Yuksel was accused of rape by a 16- or 17-year-old girl when he was 17 and both were in high school in 2007.
The report also quotes a witness who refutes the girl’s claim.
Yuksel denied the “false allegation,” in a legal motion, stating, “The investigating officer found no reason to pursue the allegation after speaking with the accuser. For the record, I did not know of the existence of this allegation until recently,” he stated.
“Such a criminal allegation of moral turpitude is utterly disastrous to my reputation, especially for someone like me who is considering running for elected political office,” he stated.
When reached by phone yesterday, Yuksel said he would be issuing a statement.
The 2008 report
In the sheriff’s report dated March 13, 2008, the teenage girl said she and Yuksel were drinking Sky vodka and cola at a friend’s house. The report blacks out her name. She told the officer that Yuksel began kissing her and she tried to push him off, “telling him that she did not want to.” She stated that Yuksel began “feeling me up.” “He then pulled off her shorts and swimsuit bottoms, put on a condom and had intercourse with her. She stated ‘no’ the whole time and tried to push him off. During intercourse, she cried a little bit and then blacked out,” the report states.
She told her parents on February 19, 2008, that she had been raped and they filed no complaint. “When she told her mother that she had been raped, her mother talked to her about drinking and knowing that she [the girl] had been experimenting with alcohol. She talked to her about drinking at strange residences with people she did not know. This is what could happen,” the report states.
On March 3, 2008, she told a school counselor that she had been raped, and the counselor called 911. “She did not want anything done,” the report states. “She was just talking to a counselor about it and did not want to press any charges or be a victim. She did not want anything to happen.”
Outrage and shock
Yuksel is now 28. The report was sealed until after Yuksel filed a petition for “Clearance of Criminal Record” in Arizona Superior Court on March 7, 2018. The legal motion was denied by Judge Danelle Liwski on March 27, 2018, because there was no arrest, indictment or other charge filed against him so there were no grounds to find the accusation or investigation wrongful.
Yuksel launched his campaign for Congress in Tucson in March. In another development, court records surfaced yesterday, showing Yuksel pleaded guilty to a DUI on February 27, 2014.
Outrage, shock and calls for Yuksel to drop out of the race exploded on the McSally – Take a Stand! Facebook page, where photos of the sheriff’s report were released yesterday. Arizona Daily Star reporter Joe Ferguson is credited with uncovering the story.
“Yahya has the audacity to ask us if he can represent our community in the United States Congress while simultaneously suppressing a young woman’s #MeToo story for his own personal gain,” wrote Veronica Nicole of Tucson.
Click to see the photos of the documents: PDF with legal motion, sheriffs report and court ruling
Campaign for Congress
Yuksel is the youngest person running among a field of 7 Democrats seeking the CD2 Congressional seat. He is the subject of articles on the Blog for Arizona including CD2 Congress Candidate Yahya Yuksel Accelerating a Come-from-behind Campaign.
There is a CD2 candidate forum on Thursday, July 19 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Tucson High Magnet School at 400 N 2nd Ave. If Yuksel attends, he will face questions about the rape allegation.
“It is very important to note, that at the time of the allegation, no Investigating Officer of the Law attempted to make contact with me or pursue criminal charges once they conducted the standard practice of a preliminary interview with the person claiming sexual misconduct. Had there been even a slight possibility of misconduct occurring, surely the investigating officer would have contacted me,” Yuksel stated in his legal motion.
“I have not been provided my constitutional right to defend myself against this allegation and face my accuser in court. I have no legal remedy. While all police reports are recorded no matter how baseless, the classification of ‘sexual misconduct’ is by itself a damage to my reputation.”
Witness refutes rape allegation
The three-page 2008 sheriff’s report includes a witness who was just outside the bedroom door and who refutes the girl’s accusation. In November 2007, she was visiting the house of her friend from high school, Anthony Benito Matias of Tucson, when his friend Yahya Yuksel came over. “She began pouring Sky Vodka and cola for herself. Yahya had approximately one cup and one-half of Sky Vodka and Cola. [The girl] had approximately six to seven cups of Sky Vodka and cola and began getting very, very intoxicated and light-headed,” the report states.
Anthony told the officer that she was “all over” his friend Yahya. She then asked to use the bathroom and “[she] wanted Yahya to help her.
“Anthony stated he then turned on the TV, keeping it very low to make sure that everything was fine. He could hear them in the next room over having sex.” He told the officer that never once did he hear her tell Yuksel ‘no.’ At one point she stated that the lights were on and asked if he could turn them off for them.
When Anthony went to check on her later, “she still had her swimsuit bottoms and shorts off and he handed them to her. “When she started to come to, she got very sick and began saying that Yahya had raped her when she did not want that. He told her that was not what he heard. He heard her having sex or intercourse and as far as he was concerned, it was voluntary. He did not hear any signs of distress. If he would have, he would have come in and stopped Yahya,” the report states.
“She began getting sick and Anthony gave her a bag to throw up in. He then helped her get home” to her address on Ina Road.
The investigating officer gave her a victim’s rights packet with his name, badge number, the case reference, and the sheriff’s department phone number. “She advised that since she did not want to be a victim and did not want anything to happen to Yahya Yuksel, the mother had already been advised, and they were both 17 years old, to go ahead and document the report as she had requested and not go any further.”