Gibbons Controversy

By  | 

A woman made three 911 calls claiming that a congressman running for governor assaulted her while propositioning her for sex. The candidate denied the accusation, and the woman dropped the battery complaint the next day.

Chrissy Mazzeo, 32, told police that Rep. Jim Gibbons, who is leading in the polls in the governor's race, grabbed her arms and pushed her up against a wall late Oct. 13 as he propositioned her in a parking garage, according to police reports released Wednesday.

According to Mazzeo's statement, she had rejected Gibbons' advances during the evening. According to the statement, he grabbed her arms with both hands as they approached the parking garage elevator.

With her back to the wall, he said, "You have two choices," the reports said.

"And I said, 'Are you really, you know, rape me at this time?' And he said, 'You have two choices right now,"' Mazzeo told police.

"And I said, 'What are my choices? ... And he goes basically ... you can leave or you can do the other choice," the reports said. "And I said, 'No way.' I said, 'I've survived cancer and then you're going to turn around and do this."'

Mazzeo said she ran to a nearby coffee shop and called 911. After her third call, she met police officers and gave a statement.

Gibbons, 61, a married, five-term Republican congressman who is
running for governor, told police the alleged assault "didn't happen." He said he walked Mazzeo toward her truck and helped her catch her balance after she tripped.

"And if she assumed that helping her up ... was detaining her, well then ... I'm shocked at that," according to a transcript of Gibbons' interview with police on Saturday.

Mazzeo dropped the complaint the next day but she did not recant the allegations. She also told police she was not pressured to withdraw the complaint.

When asked about her change of mind, she said it was "because of who he is."

"I just don't want to go up against that," Mazzeo said.

Police concluded there wasn't enough evidence to seek a criminal charge, Deputy Chief Greg McCurdy said.

Calls to Mazzeo's home and cell phone went unanswered Wednesday.

Gibbons was favored 45 percent to 36 percent over Democratic state Sen. Dina Titus, according to a statewide poll reported Sept. 24 by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.