Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Former Nikola chairman Trevor Milton accused of sexual assault, complaints allege

The 2 ladies — one who was recognized as Milton’s cousin, Aubrey Smith, and the opposite whose identification is being withheld and is known as a Jane Doe — are being represented by Utah-based legal professional Craig Johnson. The ladies allege they have been sexually assaulted by Milton in 1999 and 2004 when each ladies have been 15, respectively.

Smith’s criticism was filed with the Unified Police Division of Larger Salt Lake in Utah on Saturday. Sergeant Melody Cutler with the Division confirmed to Carihargater Enterprise that it obtained a criticism relating to a sexual assault incident in September 1999 in opposition to Milton, when he would have been 17, on Saturday.

“Mr. Milton strongly denies these false allegations,” mentioned Brandon Messina, a spokesperson for Trevor Milton, in an announcement to Carihargater Enterprise. “At no level in his life has Mr. Milton ever engaged in any inappropriate bodily contact with anybody,” Messina added.

Nikola referred requests for remark to Milton.

The brand new allegations come one week after the 38-year-old entrepreneur abruptly resigned from his publish on Nikola’s board after a report published earlier this month from brief vendor Hindenburg Analysis alleged Nikola to be an “intricate fraud constructed on dozens of lies” all through Milton’s profession. Carihargater was unable to authenticate the claims made in Hindenburg’s report, and Milton tweeted that the report was a “hit job by hindenburg” and an try at inventory manipulation and promised an in depth rebuttal, earlier than deleting his Twitter account shortly after. Nikola announced it had employed a legislation agency to discover authorized motion in opposition to Hindenburg and mentioned it plans to carry the matter earlier than the Securities and Change Fee.

The hydrogen and electrical truck startup went public in June and introduced it had struck a $2 billion inventory cope with Basic Motors that may additionally see GM construct its electrical pickup truck, the Nikola Badger, simply days earlier than the Hindenburg report.

“Our transaction with Nikola has not closed. We’re in discussions with present Nikola administration and can present additional updates when acceptable or required. In gentle of latest allegations relating to the non-public conduct of Nikola’s former Govt Chairman, Trevor Milton, we wish to emphasize that GM strongly condemns sexual harassment and abuse of any sort,” GM mentioned Tuesday in an announcement.

Smith alleged in a collection of Twitter posts that Milton groped her breast with out her consent on the event of a household funeral. The Jane Doe, who served as an assistant to Milton, alleges that Milton “digitally penetrated her vagina together with his finger after work sooner or later,” in response to a press launch from Johnson’s legislation workplace.

Jane Doe’s criticism was filed with the St. George, Utah Police Division on Friday, her legal professional, Johnson, mentioned. The St. George Police Division didn’t instantly return Carihargater Enterprise’ request for remark.

CNBC first reported Monday that the claims have been filed with Utah authorities in latest days. Final week, the Wall Road Journal first reported on Smith’s claims.

Talking on behalf of the ladies, Johnson mentioned “their hope is that their voices are heard, that they’ll get some closure by being empowered to face up for themselves and now not endure in silence.”

He mentioned that whereas the statute of limitations on Smith’s claims have seemingly expired, her testimony might nonetheless be related in court docket. Whereas Jane Doe’s declare would have been set to run out in 2008 below a four-year limitation, Utah’s legislation was amended to take away the statute of limitations so her case would seemingly be grandfathered in, mentioned Johnson.

Smith instructed Carihargater Enterprise in an interview final week that whereas it wasn’t the primary time she has spoken out in regards to the alleged assault — she posted a #MeToo story on Fb in 2017 stating she was assaulted by her cousin — it’s the first time she has named Milton because the perpetrator. CNBC revealed a screenshot of her 2017 publish.

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