Singer files sex assault complaint against former Trump aide

FILE- In this Nov. 9, 2017, file photo, Corey Lewandowski, the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, speaks during an event in Manchester, N.H. Joy Villa, a singer and potential congressional candidate, says she has filed a sexual assault complaint Lewandowski for hitting her twice on her buttocks during a Washington gathering in November. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)

Mary Schwalm / Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A singer and potential congressional candidate says she has filed a sexual assault complaint against President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager for hitting her twice on her buttocks during a gathering in November.

Joy Villa, a Trump backer who wore a “Make America Great Again” dress at the Grammys this year, said Tuesday she plans to meet with detectives in Washington next week about the complaint against Corey Lewandowski.

In a phone interview from Tampa, Florida, Villa said she had been reluctant to come forward because she feared backlash. But she said she called police on Christmas Eve after a friend who witnessed the incident spoke about it publicly and other friends urged her to report it.

“I didn’t know him at all,” Villa said about Lewandowski. “I only knew him by reputation. He broke my trust.”

She said she saw him at a gathering at Trump International Hotel on the day after Thanksgiving, and said Lewandowski struck her “extremely hard,” even after she told him to stop. She said she felt it was “disgusting and shocking and demeaning.”

Villa, who is considering a run for a Florida congressional seat, said she initially thought it was sexual harassment, but police told her touching someone on any body part that is sexual in nature constituted sexual assault. She said she was told it was classified as a misdemeanor.

“I was initially fearful to come forward with this,” she said, and she did not want to bring shame or embarrassment on Lewandowski’s family or hers.

“I did nothing wrong,” Villa said. “I realized if he’s not going to respond or apologize to me, I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Lewandowski did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Villa made news earlier this year when she wore a dress displaying Trump’s campaign slogan at the Grammys. In an Instagram post, she said she decided to wear the dress because “you can either stand for what you believe in or fall for what you don’t.” She added, “agree to disagree.”

This is not the first time Lewandowski has faced police charges.

In March 2016 he was charged with misdemeanor battery for an altercation involving a woman reporter after a news conference in Florida. The charges were later dropped.

Trump fired him as campaign manager in June 2016.

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