A Maine lawmaker facing allegations that he sought inappropriate relations with a student at an all-girls school in Portland has resigned his House seat.
That’s according to Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon, who told members Monday morning that Westbrook Rep. Dillon Bates, a Democrat, has stepped down.
Bates, a who taught at the now-closed Maine Girls Academy, was accused by an unnamed former student at the school of manipulating her into sexual contact that she was not comfortable with. The accusation was first reported by The Bollard, a monthly newspaper in Portland. It was unclear whether the alleged contact took place before or after she graduated or what her age was at the time.
Last fall, Bates resigned his post as a drama teacher and coach at the school. His attorney, Walter McKee has called the allegations against Bates “baseless. There is not a shred of evidence to support the allegation that he engaged in any misconduct," McKee said.
In a letter to Gideon, Bates said his resignation will be effective today.
"The anonymous allegations against me are baseless and false," Bates wrote. "That said, with likely only a matter of hours of legislative work remaining, I do not wish to create any distractions. In my time away from the Legislature, I plan to focus on clearing my name. I am proud of my time in service to the City of Westbook and the State of Maine. It has been an honor to be their voice in Augusta for the past 4 years, and I look forward to finding ways to serve my community, state, and country in the future. I wish all those who choose to serve our great state only the best."
This story was originally published Aug. 20, 2018 at 10:05 a.m. ET.