A Minnesota lawmaker has recently dropped his re-election bid after reports that Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) was working with his daughter on a story about her accusations that he molested her for years.
When the state Rep. Jim Knoblach (R) reportedly learnt last week his 23-year-old daughter, Laura Knoblach, together with MPR, was publishing the allegations against him, he decided to abandon his campaign for the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Laura first went public with her accusations against her father in 2016 when, in a Facebook post, she accused her father of touching her inappropriately.
Although, the post was later deleted, MPR obtained a copy of the post. Soon after the post reemerged on the internet, MPR journalist Nina Moini got in touch with Laura.
In July, Moini interviewed Laura for four hours, went over a St. Cloud Police Department investigation report, and spoke with Laura’s friends and members of her family who had chosen to believe her.
Speaking to MPR news, the 23-year-old said the molestation began when she was nine and continued until the age of 21. When she was nine, Laura recalled, Knoblach entered her room, licked her neck and bit her ear.
According to Laura, such disturbing advances were made by her father pretty frequently, even as the family got together on the couch to watch TV. Sometimes, she said, Knoblach would press his body onto hers against a refrigerator or dishwasher.
Even as she suffered, Laura alleges, other members of her family actively worked to coerce her into silence.
On Friday, MPR news published a report detailing the instances of assault, and all the ways her family tried to stop her from speaking up against her father.
In a statement issued last week, Knoblach vehemently denied his daughter’s accusations. He claimed his daughter was “estranged” and, despite repeated attempts from him and his family, refuses to reconcile with them. He also noted that Sherburne County had investigated and dismissed these accusations already.
Knoblach added that he could have fought for another six weeks but decided to prioritize his privacy and not putting his family through this ordeal.
“I could fight on for another six weeks to defend my reputation while running for re-election. But this would entail subjecting my wife, son, and elderly parents, as well as my daughter, to six weeks of extreme stress and scrutiny,” he wrote in a statement released on Friday.
Jim Knoblach served in the State House from 1995 to 2017. In 2014, he was re-elected to the House and is currently the chairperson of the House Ways and Means Committee.
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