CROWN HEIGHTS — A candidate for the 20th District State Senate Seat accused his foe of ignoring six complaints of rape and assault at a senior home during a heated debate Thursday — yet had little information to substantiate the claims, DNAinfo New York has learned.
Speaking at a public town hall meeting at the United Lubavitcher Yeshiva Thursday evening, former Department of Education administrator Rubain Dorancy accused his opponent, 43rd Assembly District Leader Jesse Hamilton, of not doing anything to help when constituents called to complain about the alleged attacks.
“During my campaigning, I’ve been in one specific senior center where six women — six women who are old enough to be my mother and my challenger’s mother — were assaulted. Two of them were also raped. And they did call the senatorial district director’s office and there was no response,” Dorancy said, drawing shouts from the crowd.
The bombshell allegation, which Dorancy did not provide any details about during the meeting, prompted Hamilton to angrily reply, "That's not true. I'm not going to let him stand here and say a false statement."
Hamilton then stood up and walked off the debate stage, before moderators convinced him to return and ordered both candidates to move on to a different topic.
Pressed for an explanation on Friday, Dorancy denied saying any women were raped, insisting he said attempted rape, despite a tape of the debate which clearly recorded him saying rape.
He added that the source of the claim was an 86-year-old woman who lives in the Reid Houses in Crown Heights who described being attacked and groped by a repairman in her apartment last winter.
Dorancy said he never spoke to police about the woman's claims.
"I’m simply reporting back what was told to me,” he told DNAinfo on Friday. “It’s definitely not my job to do any police research.”
Asked where he got the information about the other five alleged victims he referred to during the debate, Dorancy said he was recounting what the woman at the Reid Houses had told him.
"There’s an issue that I was trying to present before I was cut off and they forced me to change the topic,” Dorancy said. “There are a lot of people in the district who do not feel secure and safe and I never got a chance to say that.”
Police from the 71st Precinct, which includes the Reid Houses, said they are unaware of any rape or sexual abuse patterns concerning senior citizens in the area.
Hamilton's campaign confirmed that he periodically does legal and outreach work in the 20th State Senate District, but “is in no way” directly involved with constituent services. Additionally, the spokesman said they found no record of a call to their office such as the one described by the woman.
"It is disgusting to politicize something as serious as sexual assault, but it is absolutely immoral and wrong to lie about it for your own political gain the way that Dorancy did last night," Hamilton spokesman Nathan Smith said. "Dorancy knows that this is entirely a fabrication and delusion.”