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Arizona candidate denies decade-old rape allegations

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jul 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-20 23:17:41-04

A decade-old allegation of sexual assault has rocked a crowded Democratic primary for a Tucson-based congressional district.

Yahya Yuksel is facing calls to quit his campaign after the Arizona Daily Star reported about allegations that he raped an intoxicated 16-year-old girl when he was 17. The newspaper said Yuksel, who is now 28, was never charged or arrested, and the individual did not press charges.

The Pima County Democratic Party took the rare move of withdrawing support from Yuksel. He was disinvited from a candidate forum. But he's not dropping out the race.

Yuksel said Friday that he did not rape the individual, but he deeply regrets drinking and having sex that night. He says he wants to work to educate teenagers about the risks of mixing alcohol and sex.