The attorney representing the woman who claims Sen. Jack Latvala sexually harassed her is calling on Gov. Rick Scott to appoint a special prosecutor in the case.
Attorney Tiffany Cruz says she made the request to the governor because Latvala had committed illegal actions against her client.
“Specifically, my client, Rachel Perrin Rogers has been the victim of battery by Senator Latvala in that he touched her in an inappropriate manner without her permission.,” Cruz wrote to Scott.
“This request is not made lightly, but to ensure that there is not a dual standard of justice that benefits only the powerful and politically well-connected,” Cruz added. “My request is made to determine if criminal prosecution is warranted.”
Cruz said she decided to make the request before the case ended up in the local state attorney’s office in Tallahassee where she says both sides have professional relationships with staffers in that office.
“Due to the high-profile nature of this case and a potential conflict within the Office of the State Attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit, I am requesting the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate these criminal actions,” Cruz wrote.
Her request for the special prosecutor comes on the same day the Senate rejected a request from Cruz to provide a Capitol Police officer or Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent to provide security for Perrin Rogers while she is at work at the Capitol.
Cruz had sent a letter to Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, last week blaming Latvala and his supporters of forcing her client to go public. She accused Latvala and his supporters of “engaging in serious acts of retaliation” against Rogers.
The Senate agreed to provide Perrin Rogers with a staff member from the Senate Sergeant of Arms office, but she opted to hire a security guard.
Perrin Rogers is the top legislative aide to Senate Majority Leader Wilton Simpson. Earlier in the day, Simpson issued a written state saying there’s been a “smear campaign” going on to discredit Perrin Rogers. “It must end immediately,” Simpson said in his statement.
Perrin Rogers is one of six women who went to Politico and anonymously told their stories about how Latvala allegedly made lewd comments to them or touched them inappropriately.
Latvala denies those claims and vows to fight to clear his name.
She went public with her story last week after she said Latvala indirectly identified her to media outlets, and after falsely accusing her husband, a political consultant, of working for one of Latvala’s opponents in the Republican primary for governor.