The House of Representatives’s youngest sitting member, Madison Cawthorn, is facing reemerged sexual misconduct allegations after a recent report from the Washington Post.
The report, published on Saturday, details claims from close contacts of Cawthorn, including a friend who was in the vehicle during his near-fatal car crash in 2014 and former classmates who alleged the then-student of unwanted sexual advances.
Several of the allegations surrounded Cawthorn’s run for office with more than 150 alumni from Patrick Henry College signing a letter urging North Carolina voters to “reevaluate” Cawthorn’s candidacy.
“Cawthorn’s time at PHC was marked by gross misconduct towards our female peers, public misrepresentation of his past, disorderly conduct that was against the school’s student honor code, and self-admitted academic failings,” the letter said. “During his brief time at the college, Cawthorn established a reputation for predatory behavior. … We urge the voters of North Carolina to seriously reevaluate Madison Cawthorn’s candidacy in light of who he really is.”
Cawthorn, 25, attended Patrick Henry College for a single semester in fall 2016 before he reportedly dropped out shortly after a speech he gave at the school in 2017. He said in a lawsuit deposition he made D’s in all his classes during the short semester at the school, according to news outlet AVL Watchdog.
This week, CNN spoke with Caitlin Coulter, a former classmate of Cawthorns from Patrick Henry College, who alleged the Represenative made unwatned sexual advances towards her.
Coulter said Cawthorn asked her at the time to go on a “fun drive” in his care where he asked her about her sexual experiences. She shut the conversation down, but was later allegedly met with an unwanted advance for a kiss by Cawthorn.
“He got really upset. And he whipped the car around and started going back to campus at 70-80 miles an hour on these one-lane roads,” she said. “And it was — it was really scary.”
Coulter told the outlet Cawthorn’s “MO was to take vulnerable women out on these rides with him in the car, and to make advances.”
Cawthorn has repeatedly denied the allegations and in a September 2020 statement, he said, “I have never done anything sexually inappropriate in my life.”
One of the allegations precedes the representative’s limited college career. Katrina Krulikas alleged to World Magazine last August that in 2014, when she was 17 and Cawthorn was 19, he inivited her to a secluded field for a campfire and request her to sit in his lap, adding she “felt pressured and unsure of how to say no.”
Krulikas claimed Cawthorn forced her face towards him for a kiss and she attempted to pull away, only to have her hair caught in his wheelchair.
“I had to pull out some of my own hair just to free myself,” Krulikas said.
In a Monday statement, Cawthorn’s office said, “The voters of Western North Carolina responded to these allegations by giving Madison Cawthorn a 12-point victory over his opponent. Rep. Cawthorn is now busy doing the work he was elected to do including helping our economy recover from the pandemic, creating jobs and opportunity, making health care more affordable, protecting our natural environment and defending life and our Second Amendment rights.”
The Washington Post’s report also noted potential false claims from Cawthorn about a car accident he and his friend Bradley Ledford were in during a spring break trip in 2014, that left Cawthorn with limited use of his legs.
In his 2017 speech at Patrick Henry, Cawthorn alleged he was left to die in a car crash, claiming his friend ran for safety in the woods while he was still in the vehicle. While he called Ledford his “brother” and “best friend,” Cawthorn claimed Ledford left him “in a car to die in a fiery tomb.” Ledford told the Post that wasn’t true.
“That statement he made was false,” Ledford said. “It hurt very badly that he would say something as false as that. That is not at all what happened. I pulled him out of the car the second that I was able to get out of the car.”
A report about the accident obtained by The Washington Post said Cawthorn was “incapacitated,” not declared as “dead” at the scene.
Ledford said the pair did not talk for a couple of years following the crash, but added that he has reconnected with Cawthorn, and said “he told me that he didn’t believe those things anymore.”
Cawthorn, 25, won North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District in November, filling the gap left by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows when he left the congressional chair.
The Washington Examiner reached out to Cawthorn’s office and campaign but did not immediately receive a response.