Cárdenas Faces Calls to Resign Ahead of Primary

Judge allows civil suit from minor who says congressman touched her in 2007 to proceed

Protesters called on Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-Calif., to resign amid allegations of sexually abusing a teenage girl in 2007. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas faced calls to resign ahead of California’s primary next month amid  after a judge allowed a civil suit accusing him of sexually abusing a teenage girl in 2007 to move forward.

Around 20 protesters descended on Cárdenas’ office in Van Nuys on Monday, saying they believe his accuser, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

“Out of respect for the community, out of respect for the family, out of respect for the victim, we are asking the congressman to step down,” said actress and political activist Gina Felix Goldman.

Earlier this month, Cárdenas’ lawyer revealed the congressman was the defendant in a lawsuit against “an elected official in Los Angeles.”

This was despite the fact California law prevents naming a defendant in civil sex abuse cases.

Cárdenas’ lawyer vehemently denied the allegations that while driving a teenage girl to an emergency room that he inappropriately touched her.

An L.A. Superior Court judge ruled last week there was “a reasonable and meritorious basis” for the case to move forward.

Among the protesters at Cárdenas’ office were two of his opponents in the June 5 primary, Green Party candidate Angelica Dueñas and Democrat Joe Shammas.

The protesters criticized House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who has called for an Ethics Committee investigation into Cardenas, and other Democrats who have withheld judgment in the case.

“The powers that be are shuffling it away,” Shammas said. 

Also present was Republican candidate for lieutenant governor David Hernandez.

“This is not just [alleged] sexual abuse, it’s against a minor,” he said. “If we [Republicans and Democrats] can’t unite against this, there’s no hope.”

Watch: Four Races to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries


Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.