HUDSON, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A man collecting signatures to run for mayor in a local city is now facing criminal charges after allegedly sexually assaulting a woman he was trying to get to sign his petition.
Earl Swanigan, 53, claims this is all a big mistake, even saying the whole incident is a way to keep him from becoming mayor.
Police arrested Swanigan on Tuesday after complaints that he entered a woman’s house uninvited and then forcibly touched her.
Swanigan is planning to run for mayor as a Democrat but is also a well-known artist in Hudson.
“All this is is dirty politics,” Swanigan said.
He believes someone paid the victim of the report to make these allegations because they don’t like the platform he’s running on.
“They didn’t endorse me so one of the members of the Democrat board has been trying to throw me under the bus ever since.”
He also says he thinks race is a factor.
“The way I feel it’s gong on is they don’t want no black mayor in this town.”
Swanigan says he received 100 signatures on his petition so far since he started collecting them.
On June 6th, the same date of the alleged incident.
He’s facing misdemeanor charges of forcible touching and criminal trespassing.
The judge has issued an order of protection for the victim.
Swanigan is scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.