RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) – A longtime Republican operative from North Carolina has gone public as the man accusing conservative powerbroker Matt Schlapp of sexual assault.
Carlton Huffman, 39, of Raleigh, who earlier this year was employed in the North Carolina General Assembly, said Wednesday that he was the person who filed the $9.4 million suit claiming sexual battery and defamation by Schlapp, leader of the Conservative Political Action Conference, and his wife, Mercedes, The Washington Post reported.
The claims emerged against Schlapp, 55, late last year when Huffman was a field worker for Herschel Walker’s senatorial campaign in Georgia. He has said he was assigned to drive Schlapp, who he has said tried to grope him and invited him to his hotel room.
Schlapp has denied the claims, but his lawyer, The Post said, had pushed for the judge in the case to require Huffman’s identity to be released so that his viability as a plaintiff could be examined.
Accusers in sex-related legal chances typically are anonymous, and Alexandria Circuit Court Chief Judge Lisa Bondareff Kemler had been considering that request, The Post reported.
Huffman had been interviewed several times, The Post said, since he filed the lawsuit. He also had been identified on social media by at least one of Schlapp’s supporters, who classify Huffman’s suit as an attack by the left. Mercedes Schlapp posted about the case on a web forum.
The Post said Schlapp declined to be interviewed in response to Huffman’s statements.
Huffman has come under scrutiny in recent months for comments he made on a white supremacy blog and in past writings that “frequently glorified the Confederate flag, blamed Black people and illegal immigrants for violent crime, and called for ‘preserving the European American culture of the United States,’” The Post reported.
Huffman immediately resigned from his job with the North Carolina General Assembly in late January after reporters were provided lengthy emails about his history, WRAL reported.
In 2012 he worked on the congressional campaign of former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and he is well-known for his political fieldwork.
“Carlton is known by many Republicans in North Carolina as a hardworking campaign professional who has helped elect conservatives across our state and country,” Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who has known Huffman for more than a decade, said in a statement to The Post before that history was known.
Huffman’s accounts of the interaction with Schlapp describe in significant detail how events unfolded. The Post said it had reviewed text messages, phone logs and videos provided by Huffman and talked to witnesses in whom Huffman had confided. Huffman’s wife said Schlapp destroyed their marriage.
Schlapp, whose annual CPAC conference ended this past weekend outside Washington, is a supporter of former President Donald Trump.