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Rep. Lou Lang Resigns From House Committees After Sexual Harassment Allegations

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) resigned as Deputy House Majority leader and from two other commissions on Thursday after a woman accused him of harassment.

Medical marijuana advocate, Maryann Loncar says Lou Lang tried to seduce her, then tried to crush her when she opposed his position on medical marijuana.

Speaking at a press conference in Springfield, Maryann Loncar said, "I was harassed. I was intimidated. I was humiliated," by Lang.

In a statement, Lang refuted Loncar's accusations, claiming instead that she was disgruntled after not receiving a cannabis dispensary license for her company.

"My priority was not helping those seeking to profit off medical marijuana, like, Ms. Loncar, who wanted a cannabis dispensary license for her company, Patient's Health Care; but, apparently failed at her money-making effort to secure a dispensary license," stated Lang.

Maryann Loncar says she met Rep. Lou Lang when she came to Springfield as an ordinary citizen, advocating for medical marijuana, alleging his actions crossed the line.

"I have everything to lose coming forward to you, everything," stated Loncar. "[He began] calling me, asking if I'm at a restaurant so he can join me. Really? I'm married. He's married. That's inappropriate."

Loncar says Lang touched her lower back with his hand and said comments like, "Does your husband know how lucky he is?"

She says Lang turned vindictive when she wouldn't support a measure to allow for-profit companies to distribute medical marijuana.

"He called my ex-husband and offered to bury me any way he could," said Loncar.

Lang stated the allegations are false, saying, "From beginning to end, the allegations are absurd."

In response, Lang says Loncar's crying sour grapes because she wanted a medical marijuana dispensary but did not get one.

"This is someone who didn't get what she wants. In politics, that happens," said Lang.

Victims rights advocate, Denise Rotheimer, who joined Loncar at the press conference today, called Lang's resignation a "victory."

Rotheimer posted on Facebook, "Victory today in Springfield at a press conference. Representative Lou Lang resigned form leadership after Maryann went public about her experience of his abuse." 

Lang says he resigned from Madigan's leadership team because he didn't want to become a distraction for his colleagues. He also called for an immediate investigation by the legislative Inspector General.

Lang resigned from the Legislative Ethics Commission, which oversees the Inspector General, as well. He says that is one reason Loncar says she never went to the Inspector General with her charges. She says, ultimately, it's controlled by Mike Madigan.

He will continue his role as state representative in Skokie.

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