FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PULLMAN — The Sutherland for Congress campaign released the following statement regarding the Spokesman Review Article titled “Sexual assault allegation investigated after Democratic meeting.”
The article written by the Spokesman Review about the events that transpired at the Washington Democratic Party’s quarterly meeting on April 22, 2017 includes factual errors and misrepresents the timeline of events leading to Matthew Sutherland’s involvement. We have reached out to the Spokesman Review for corrections.
The article makes several mentions of Sutherland under the misspelling “Sunderland.”
The timeline of events in the article assumes that Sutherland was complicit to the events leading up to the sexual assault. The young activist from the article was at the party and drinking before Sutherland arrived with alcohol as a gift to the host of the party, and later noticed that the activist was intoxicated.
Sutherland had also been drinking before arriving at the party, but after noticing the activist was drunk, he was the first adult to intervene in the activist’s drinking by assuring she had a designated driver take her back to her hotel.
“At a time when a young woman was vulnerable, I empathized with her,” said Sutherland. “Instead of chastising her drinking I decided to ensure she got home safely. My priority was her safety.”
The next morning after realizing what had happened to the activist, Sutherland requested the State Party take action, gave a statement to police and ensured the activist had contact with victim advocacy groups at her school to ensure her well-being.
Since Sutherland was the only one to take action, his name was on the police report.
PULLMAN — Washington 5th Congressional District candidate Matthew J. Sutherland released the following statement regarding the Spokesman Review Article titled “Sexual assault allegation investigated after Democratic meeting.”
“As someone who has personally intervened in multiple situations to forbid potential situations of sexual violence, I will absolutely continue to be an advocate for victims of sexual violence by supporting the strengthening of existing legislation such as the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act of 2017, and introducing additional bystander training and education provisions for future legislation.”
WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla County Democrats Precinct Committee Officer Madeline Brown released the following statement regarding the Spokesman Review Article titled “Sexual assault allegation investigated after Democratic meeting.”
"I attended the Washington Democratic Central Committee meeting on the weekend of April 21st and 22nd in Walla Walla as a PCO for the Walla Walla County Democrats.
On Sunday morning we learned about the assault on our friend.
Matthew immediately took action by contacting party leaders as well as comforting the victim in her time of need. Over the hours we spent together on Sunday and in every interaction since I’ve seen a loyal friend, an ally for women and assault survivors, and a true leader.
Many men in his position would try to distance themselves from potential controversy but he has proven himself to be an honorable man by encouraging and aiding in the investigation to bring justice for the victim of this sexual assault.
I have had the great privilege of knowing some outstanding men in my life, and I consider Matthew Sutherland among those men. The people of Washington's 5th Congressional District would be lucky to have a man of such distinction as its Representative."