- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

ST. ALBANS, Vt. (AP) - A trial has started for a former Vermont lawmaker accused of trying to extract sexual favors from a woman in exchange for rent.

After two and a half days of jury selection the trial for Republican former Sen. Norm McAllister began Wednesday afternoon.

McAllister has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and prohibited acts and maintains he’s innocent.

The 65-year-old McAllister is from Highgate Springs. He agreed to plead guilty to charges on the eve of his second trial in January. The next day he asked to withdraw the plea, saying he’d been pushed into it by his attorneys.

Charges were dismissed against McAllister in a sexual assault trial involving a different accuser who lied last year.

McAllister’s colleagues voted to suspend him after his arrest.

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