Sexual harassment allegations strike a blow against a Scientology political ally in Florida - 2017-11-13
The current climate of victims coming forward with long-suppressed accusations of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct has not only snared many Hollywood figures but also a politician whose family has long been friendly to the Church of Scientology.
On November 3, Politico reported that six women have come forward with allegations that Florida State Senator Jack Latvala groped and sexually harassed them. The allegations come on the heels of hidden camera photos of the Republican state senator kissing a female lobbyist on the lips. Latvala denies the allegations and no charges have been filed against him, but as the Tampa Bay Times reported, most observers find the accusations credible and expect this to end Latvala's career in politics. If so, it marks an end to the influence of one of Scientology's most powerful allies in Florida.
Just this week, in fact, Scientologists in Clearwater received an appeal to contact Latvala in favor of Senate Bill 270, which would modestly adjust the Baker Act. The Act allows officials to bring a person who may be a danger to themselves or others to a mental health facility for evaluation against their will. Scientology is against every part of the Act. The new bill would give parents the right to transport their child instead of police officers, and require children to begin evaluation within eight hours of their arrival.