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HomeNewsQueens Assemblyman Juan Ardila apologizes for allegations of unwanted sexual advances

Queens Assemblyman Juan Ardila apologizes for allegations of unwanted sexual advances


A Queens State Assembly member accused by two women of making unwanted sexual advances at them at a party nearly a decade ago has apologized, local media reported, but that wasn’t enough to spare him the heat from other elected officials.

Assemblyman Juan Ardila, a Democrat who represents Maspeth and Sunnyside, did not immediately return calls from the Daily News on Tuesday, but in a statement to the Queens Chronicle, he expressed regret over his past behavior.

“I apologize for my behavior,” he said in a statement to the Chronicle, which first reported the allegations Monday afternoon. “I have spent time reflecting and I hope to show that I have matured since college. I am committed to learning from this and can demonstrate my own personal growth.”

One of the women, who spoke anonymously. to the chronicle and the queen’s eagle, said Ardilla groped her during a party in October 2015. That woman relayed written allegations from a second woman, who the Chronicle reported was dragged into the bathroom by Ardila. Once there, she alleges that he kissed her and that when she pulled away from her, he exposed himself to her.

One of Ardila’s accusers said that she was a student at Fordham University at the time of the alleged incident. Ardila, who was also attending Fordham, was not a student at the time and worked for then-councilman Brad Lander as an “office manager/programmer,” according to your LinkedIn profile.

Lander, who now serves as the city comptroller, did not immediately respond to a message.

The accusations against Ardila, who has served as a state legislator since January, quickly sparked a political backlash.

City Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens), against whom Ardila ran for City Council two years ago, demanded the assemblyman’s resignation Tuesday, saying anyone who endorsed him in the past should rescind their support.

New York City Councilman Robert Holden speaks at a news conference outside the Manhattan District Attorney's Office on August 16, 2022.

“Juan Ardila’s record of racism, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism, reckless driving and now sexual assault has disqualified him from office,” Holden said in a written statement.

“Their actions are reprehensible and unacceptable, and elected officials like Donovan Richards, unions and other groups should repudiate them at all costs. Sexual assault should never be tolerated,” Holden’s statement read.

Along with his comments, Holden included a list of people and entities that supported Ardila, saying that “everyone who supported him and knew about these issues, they have not met those standards.”

Richards, who also served on the City Council before becoming Queens Borough President, said the allegations against Ardila are “deeply troubling and require a full and thorough investigation.”

“If these disturbing allegations against him are found to be true, Assemblyman Ardila should resign,” Richards said in a written statement.

The borough president, who recently asked Holden to rescind his endorsement of Rep. George Santos, also hit back at his former council colleague for not retracting his nod to the serial lying congressman.

“However, trust in government cannot be possible without the accountability of all who have been elected to lead our communities,” Richards said. “Unfortunately, it is clear that Councilman Holden, who refused to rescind his endorsement of Representative George Santos, even after the serial liar had been charged with sexual misconduct – does not share that same belief.”

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