- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 30, 2023

Carlton Huffman, the man who accused Conservative Political Action Coalition President Matt Schlapp of unwanted sexual advances, is now refuting charges that he sexually attacked two women he lived with in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The two women, ages 19 and 22, obtained separate, 10-day restraining orders from Wake County, North Carolina, Superior Court against Mr. Huffman in late February after Raleigh police investigated their accusations and declined to pursue criminal charges. 

The women say Mr. Huffman, 39, followed them into a bedroom and sexually assaulted them, according to court documents.

The women sought the restraining orders less than a month after Mr. Huffman sued Mr. Schlapp for sexual battery, accusing him of groping his crotch during a late-night car drive in October 2022.

Mr. Huffman told The Washington Times that the two cases are completely different because he and the two women were drunk and the sexual contact was consensual. 

Mr. Huffman is seeking $9.4 million from Mr. Schlapp and his wife, Mercedes Schlapp. He accused them of “a campaign to impugn” him on social media and in the press after he publicly disclosed his claims against Mr. Schlapp.

Mr. Schlapp has denied the groping and defamation charges and last week asked the circuit court in Alexandria, Virginia, for a gag order to prevent Mr. Huffman from making any further public statements about the case. Mr. Schlapp in February succeeded in forcing Mr. Huffman, who had sued anonymously, to be named publicly in the suit.

The incident with the two young women, Mr. Huffman said, followed a night of consuming tequila and playing drinking games and was entirely consensual. He pointed to the decision by the Raleigh Police Department to swiftly close the case without filing any charges against him. 

He said he does not know why the women then sought separate restraining orders against him after police declined to press charges and said he has not attempted to contact either of them.

“Either they wanted to feel safe because I’m a firearm owner, or there was something else to it,” Mr. Huffman told The Times. “I can’t speak to that.”

The two women tell a different story in court documents filed to obtain the restraining orders. 

In separate court documents, they describe Mr. Huffman following them, uninvited, to a bedroom, ignoring a request that he leave and getting into the bed with them.  He then “proceeded with digital sexual acts to us both unconsensually,” according to the court documents.

One of the women said they had joked earlier with Mr. Huffman about him joining the two of them in the bedroom “but there was no conversation consenting.”

Both of the women said they felt unsafe around Mr. Huffman because he mentioned to them that he owned a gun. One of the women, who is Black, said she was afraid to object to his advances because she had seen him place the gun on a table and Mr. Huffman “was almost 20 years my senior … and is a known White supremacist.”

The other woman said they both “had frozen up, not knowing what to do” when Mr. Huffman got into bed with them. 

Mr. Huffman told The Times he never threatened or intimidated the women and denied their version of the encounter. 

The accusations against Mr. Huffman are the latest twist in an ongoing saga that began in January when Mr. Huffman anonymously reported to media outlets that Mr. Schlapp had groped him in the car in Macon, Georgia, where Mr. Huffman was working on Republican Herschel Walker’s unsuccessful Senate campaign.

Soon after, someone anonymously exposed to the media Mr. Huffman’s past White supremacist views that he had posted a decade ago on social media and he was forced out of his job working for the North Carolina General Assembly.

Mr. Huffman told The Times that despite the hardship caused by his decision to go public with his accusation against Mr. Schlapp, he does not regret it.

The alleged encounter with Mr. Schlapp had “badly affected me,” Mr. Huffman said, and that is what motivated him to go public about the incident and to later take Mr. Schlapp to court. 

“If it means one less person has to go through what I went through, then whatever hardship I’m going through, I would still do it all over again,” Mr. Huffman said. 

In a statement to The Times, a spokesman for Mr. Schlapp, Mark Corallo, said the Schlapps filed the gag order “due to Mr. Huffman’s persistent efforts to smear the Schlapps in the public eye.”

Mr. Corallo, in the statement, noted the North Carolina court’s decision to grant the restraining orders “for sexually assaulting two women” who “affirmed they were intimidated by Huffman due to his age and his open display of his gun.”

• Susan Ferrechio can be reached at sferrechio@washingtontimes.com.

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