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Victimization for Profit: False Sexual Assault Claims
Scene: It is evening of December 17th, 2018. The Grey Lady restaurant is a fitting backdrop for our story in the cold mid-December night air. A young man and a young woman, acquaintances, some would even say friends, enter a social gathering arranged by a mutual friend. This social gathering would change the course of each person’s life dramatically as the night goes on. Some have claimed that the young man pursued the woman, most agree that the young woman pursued the man. Regardless, they both ended up in a city cab at the end of the evening, and this is where the story becomes salacious.
This sounds like the introduction to a movie on OWN or Lifetime, but this is the real set of facts that are presented in a complaint (index #159002/2019) in the Supreme Court of New York (in New York the Supreme Court is the lowest Court). The young man is Gavin Wax, a rising influencer in the Republican Party. The young woman is Alexandra Sherer, another aspiring politico. The story of how they know each other seems to be a story of an illicit relationship, on again and off again- while she had a relationship with one of the other Antagonists of this story, Robert L. Morgan III. As the story opens up, there are the elements of the old “cloak and dagger” stories, intrigue masked by subterfuge all rolled up into each individual in the story’s pride.
As per the complaint, Wax and Sherer went to a party at the Grey Lady Tavern in New York on Dec. 17th, 2018. Prior to this, the two had had some romantic contact; however, when Sherer began seeing Morgan III the relationship was broken off. According to Sherer, Wax pursued her all night and bought her several drinks, eventually asking her to come back to his apartment- which she initially accepted. According to Wax, and several other party goers, it was Sherer who was the aggressor in the situation and Wax was “dodging” her most of the night. The two stories come together at the end of the night, when Wax and Sherer were standing on the street after the party waiting for some of Wax’s friends to come back for a trip to another establishment. After waiting in the cold, Was and Sherer both agreed to go home, and as they lived close to one another they were going to share a cab.
Tears in NYC GOP’s Allegations
This is where the story starts to differ again. According to Wax (and the complaint), he and Sherer began consensually kissing in the back of the cab. After several blocks, Sherer stated “I can’t do this” and broke the embrace. At this point (they had agreed to go back to Wax’s apartment), Wax asked her if she would like to have the cab drop her offer at her place. She said, “I can’t do this,” one more time, then ask the cabbie to stop and let her out. According to Sherer, the story was similar; however, the embrace was broken because Wax touched her breast under her shirt. She then said, “I can’t do this,” and stepped out of the moving cab at a light. Wax then returned home.
The story became more muddy a few days later. Was revived a phone call from Moran III saying to him, “You should apologize for sexually assaulting my girlfriend.” (Complain LN34) During the following days, Wax and his grandmother received several calls from restricted numbers that were hang-ups. Wax was then contacted by Robert Morgan (Morgan), Morgan III’s father, at the Empire Republican Club Christmas Party. Morgan stated, “Look, I heard there was an incident with you and Alexandra. It would be best if you apologized for this so we do not escalate.” (Complaint LN36). The following day, Morgan sent a picture of a NYPD police van with the caption, “Caught a glimpse of you this morning.” (Complaint LN 38).
While this may seem like a run of the mill, “Girl cheats up on boyfriend and boyfriend tries to cover it up story.” This all happened in front of the backdrop of the Metropolitan Republican Club of New York election. Wax was well known as a supporter of one of the candidates and Morgan III was also involved in the race (Morgan was running). Obviously, they were each supporting different sides. The discussion took an interesting turn when the allegations of sexual assault started to be used as a cudgel against Wax’s candidate. Morgan III and his team were spreading the information about the complaint (before it was a criminal complaint) (the complaint suggests this information was spread as early as December 2018, Complaint LN 41).
As part of, what the complaint calls, a calculated effort to destroy Wax. Morgan and Sherer are involved with Steeplechase Strategies, a campaign consulting firm with ties to many political campaigns in New York City.
A source from New York suggested ties between Morgan, Steeplechase and several “Never-Trump” candidates in the New York area who are now shifting their position due to the likelihood that President Trump will win in the 2020 election. Further, on January 3rd, two new parties (Bryan Jung and Eugene Resler) who are also named in the complaint, became involved with the situation. The complaint alleges that they spread a narrative about the alleged sexual assault as a campaign tool for the election, even harassing Wax directly with comments such as “I am friends with Alexandra”, “I will ruin you,” and “Look into the eyes of Hell.” (Complaint LN 55-57). Jung was noted as saying at a meeting, “We will not tolerate a crowd that includes and attempted rapist such as Gavin (the Groper) Wax, who has unapologetically boasted about assaulting one of my closest friends in a NYC Taxicab and has been accused by three other women.” (Complaint LN 61). No evidence of the other complaints is included in the complaint nor is it in the news record to our knowledge.
The accusations became a campaign issue, though Ian Riley (the candidate supported by Wax) was not present at the alleged event. Riley won the election. On February 7th, 2019, Sherer filed a police report alleging the sexual assault (Complaint LN 81). Wax was arrested and Resler began sending letters to people accusing Wax of being a “repeat sexual predator” (Complaint LN 88). On June 20th, 2019 the charges were dismissed in the case pursuant to evidence presented by both Wax and the District Attorney’s office. The criminal case was sealed by operation of law. One of the pieces of evidence was from the taxicab driver, who did not remember anything out of the ordinary. (Complaint LN 91). The complaint also takes issue with several articles written by one Cindy Grosz supporting the position of Sherer, Morgan and Morgan III.
Don’t Fall for Every Politically Driven Smear Campaign
This case is a scary element of how anyone can be accused of sexual assault and how sexual assault allegations can be dismissed just because of political involvement. We do not know what went on in that cab, at least not until the tape (if it still exists) is released. What we do know is that we need to be careful in the modern climate. We have not been able to reach Wax, Sherer or Morgan III for comments. What we do know is that there was an organized campaign, whether justly or unjustly, done by political operatives in New York against Wax. As a nation, we need to insist that the police and the courts be allowed to run the “investigations” not partisan political groups. The line between “Never-Trumpers” and MAGA Republicans has never been clearer, but as a party we must realize that we are on the same side. Each time we allow these divisions to destroy our party, we allow AOCs, Bernies, and Warrens into office.