POLITICS
01/29/2018 08:14 EST | Updated 01/29/2018 09:54 EST

Ontario Progressive Conservative President Rick Dykstra Quit Following Sex Assault Allegations: Maclean's Report

Maclean's said Rick Dykstra told them he "will be responding."

Richard Lautens via Getty Images
PC party president Rick Dykstra walks into the Caucus room.

TORONTO — The former president of Ontario's Progressive Conservative party, who stepped down late Sunday night, is reportedly facing sexual misconduct allegations.

Rick Dykstra announced his resignation late Sunday in a Twitter statement hours before Maclean's Magazine published allegations that Dykstra was accused of sexually assaulting a young Conservative staffer in 2014, when he was an MP.

In Dykstra's statement, he wrote he would "step aside" to let someone else take the helm as the party chooses its new leader.

He did not reference any of the allegations reported by Maclean's, but the magazine said Dykstra told them he "will be responding."

Maclean's said the staffer reported the incident to Ottawa police in 2014, saying that Dykstra sexually assaulted her after a party.

The magazine reported that senior Conservative campaign operatives were aware of the allegations and decided to allow him to run anyway.

Dykstra went on to lose his St. Catharines riding, and became president of Ontario's Progressive Conservatives.

The allegations against Dykstra have not been proven in court, and have not been verified by The Canadian Press.

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Days after party leader stepped down

His resignation came just days after Patrick Brown quit as party leader amid sexual misconduct allegations, and on the same day as a major shakeup that included two key staff members returning to jobs they had quit just days earlier.

Chief of Staff Alykhan Velshi and communications director Nick Bergamini were among four key party members who resigned Wednesday night, just minutes before CTV News aired graphic allegations made against Brown by two women. The allegations have not been independently verified by The Canadian Press, and Brown has said they are "categorically untrue."

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