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R.I. lawmaker says higher-up told her sexual favors would help her bills

By Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Rhode Island lawmaker says a higher-ranking legislator told her sexual favors would allow her bills to go further.

Democratic Rep. Teresa Tanzi told the Providence Journal that she’s among the many women who have experienced sexual assault or harassment. She declined to identify the person involved.

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She says she didn’t report the harassment because she feared she wouldn’t be taken seriously. She was elected in 2010.

Thousands of women are identifying themselves as victims by tweeting ‘‘me too’’ following a call to action by actress Alyssa Milano after Hollywood mogul Weinstein’s downfall over allegations of sexual misconduct spanning decades.

Lawmakers expressed shock at Tanzi’s experience. The Democratic House speaker says he won’t tolerate harassment.

The state Republican Party says the harasser should be identified and removed.