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Who Is Amy Lappos? 5 Details About The Second Woman To Accuse Joe Biden Of Misconduct

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Who Is Amy Lappos? 5 Details About The Second Woman To Accuse Joe Biden Of Sexual Assault

In the year and a half since the #MeToo movement took off, countless women have come forward to tell their stories of sexual misconduct and assault. Its roots are in the entertainment industry but soon crept to other settings. The political stage is clearly not immune to the apparent epidemic, as seen from the legacy of Anita Hill in the 1990s and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in fall 2018.

Joe Biden has recently come under scrutiny as an aggressor of assault. On Mar. 29, former Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores published an op-ed in New York Magazine about an incident in 2014. She said that at a campaign event, he kissed her on the head and put his hands on her shoulder prior to her appearance on stage, making her feel uncomfortable.

Flores wrote in the op-ed, “I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?

“I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, ‘I didn't wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual f**k?’”

Biden responded to the allegations in a statement on Sunday.

"In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort," Biden said in a statement Sunday in response to Flores' allegation. "And not once—never—did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention."

"We have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will.”

Despite the statement, another allegation against the former vice president surfaced on Monday. Amy Lappos, 43, of Milford, CT, joined Flores in saying she too had had an uncomfortable experience with Joe Biden in 2009.

Who is Amy Lappos? Below are five facts about the second woman to detail allegations about Biden, and how she feels about him now.

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1. She was a former congressional aide.

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Lappos was a congressional aide to U.S. Representative Jim Himes, D-4th, starting in 2008. Himes is in his sixth term as the congressman for southwestern Connecticut. She specialized in nonprofit development and funding. She worked with him for eight years as a grant coordinator.

It was during her time with Rep. Himes that she met with then-vice president Joe Biden.

Himes told the Hartford Courant, where the story first broke, that he first learned of his former aide’s allegation on Monday, and was not prepared to immediately comment.

2. Currently, she owns her own grant-writing business.

Lappos' statement against Biden.

After she was a congressional aide, Lappos moved on to become the Director of Grants and Program Administration and Legislative Advocacy for The Center for Family Justice. After one year with the nonprofit organization in Bridgeport, CT, which offers services “designed to break the cycle of violence, in a safe place, under one roof,” Lappos started her own business in August 2017.

Lappos now works with nonprofit agencies as a freelancer. Her business is called MOMA Grants. She says on her website that she has “over ten years of experience writing successful federal, state and private foundation proposals.”

Lappos says she is proud to be “a data-girl.”

3. She attended leadership programs at Harvard and Yale.

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Along with a BS in political science from Charter Oak State College and an MS in political science from Southern New Hampshire University, Lappos also attended programs at the two most esteemed educational institutions in the United States. She attended the Women’s Campaign School at Yale for Campaign Strategy in 2014. The program is focused on increasing the number and influence of women in elected and appointed offices nationally and internationally. In 2015, she earned a certificate from the NPLI Executive Education Program for Executive Leadership Training for Crisis Management from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

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4. She said Biden’s physical contact with her was not sexual.

“It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head,” she told the Courant. Then it seemed to take a turn. “He put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth.”

Lappos explained why she never took any action in 2009. "I never filed a complaint, to be honest, because he was the vice president. I was a nobody," Lappos said. "There's absolutely a line of decency. There's a line of respect. Crossing that line is not grandfatherly. It's not cultural. It's not affection. It's sexism or misogyny."

She said in a statement to CBS News, "Men who invade a woman's personal space, touch women inappropriately, sexually harass women and feed rape culture have no place in a position of power. Referring to this type of behavior as 'simply affection' or 'grandpa-like' or "friendly' is ridiculously dismissive and part of the problem."

5. Lappos says she will still support Biden.

Joe Biden responds to allegations.

Lappos told CBS News that Biden should not run for president, and the accusations against him should be a factor in the Democratic primary.

However, if he were to win the nomination, she would back Biden. “That’s not even a question,” she said regarding the prospect of the former vice president against President Trump in 2020. “Of course I would support Biden.”

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Alison Cerri is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.