A candidate running for the D.C. Council is being sued by the parents of a young girl who say their daughter was sexually abused by a partner of the candidate while working for the candidate's modeling business.
According to court documents, Natalie Williams, a former adviser to Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry, was a partner in Blitz Associates and House of KAS Collection in Prince George's County at National Harbor.
The documents say that over the course of several months in 2010, a 13-year-old girl was sexually abused on numerous occasions by Kenneth Flanagan, who was partners with Williams at Blitz Associates and House of KAS Collection.
Williams is running as a candidate in the April 3 Democratic primary to unseat her former boss, Marion Barry. Williams did not respond to repeated phone messages and emails.
Williams and her former partners, Flanagan and Keosha Mitchell, are being sued for $1,000,000 in punitive damages by the parents of a girl.
According to Flanagan's attorney, Kevin McCants, Flanagan, who goes by the nickname KAS, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual abuse of a minor to avoid a trial and the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence.
"The allegations were so extreme and outrageous, and it was going to be his word against the word of a minor, so to avoid the possibility of years and years in prison he came to a deal with prosecutors." McCants said in a phone interview.
It's not the first time Flanagan has pleaded guilty to a serious crime. According to McCants, KAS pleaded guilty in 1995 to being an accessory after the fact to a murder in Montgomery County.
The current lawsuit alleges that Williams should have known about Flanagan's past and he should never have been allowed to be alone with a young girl.
"It makes me sad," the girl's mother said in an interview. "If she was aware of his previous convictions, then she should have made us aware."
The girl's mother says she's trying to move on with her life, but says it was common knowledge among other models that KAS had a criminal background.
"I trusted her," the girl's mother said of Williams. "I think she could have told us about his previous conviction."
Williams responded to reports of the lawsuit via press release Monday night. "As of this writing, I have not received any official documentation regarding this matter, nor are there any official documents filed in Prince George’s County or the District of Columbia to my knowledge," the candidate wrote.
"I am completely saddened that such incomplete and factually incorrect information has been provided to members of the media by my detractors and a fellow council candidate," Williams said.