- Associated Press - Monday, May 11, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont state senator arrested outside the Statehouse last week on sexual assault and other charges said Monday he would decide whether to resign after he meets with his defense lawyer.

The comments from Sen. Norman McAllister came as Gov. Peter Shumlin and other top leaders called for the resignation of the Franklin County Republican, who is in his second two-year Senate term.

“I haven’t even met with my lawyer,” said McAllister, R-Franklin, who pleaded not guilty Friday to three counts of sexual assault and three counts of prohibited acts.

“I’m going to fight, but I’m going to go by what my lawyer tells me,” he told The Associated Press.

McAllister’s lawyer did not immediately return a call Monday seeking comment.

Shumlin urged McAllister to resign. “As the father of daughters, these are the some of the most troubling allegations I have read (of crimes) against women. … I’m really horrified by the allegations,” he said.

The charges unveiled Friday described McAllister, 63, as trying to extract sexual favors in exchange for rent, using sex as a punishment and telling a woman she could earn money for him and her by having sex with farmworkers. He’s free on $20,000 bail.

One of the accusers, according to a sworn police statement, reported that she worked for McAllister both on his farm and in Montpelier. She told police that McAllister had forced her to perform oral sex on him nearly 20 times since 2013. She said she was also hired to work for him in Montpelier where she was also forced to perform sex acts.

McAllister is one of nine Republicans in the 30-member Senate, where he has served since 2013.

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