After second Sauer accuser steps forward, Kessem comments on Springfield's 'party mentality'
Ammie Kessem, the unsuccessful Republican candidate to represent the 19th District in the Illinois House of Representatives, said she looked on with heightened interest as a second woman recently stepped forward to accuse disgraced former state Rep. Nick Sauer, a Republican from Lake Barrington, of posting nude photos of her online without her consent.
“I’m careful not to judge people without having all the evidence, but I know there definitely seems to be too much of a party mentality in Springfield,” she told the Lake County Gazette. “I’ve heard all kinds of stories about things going on in ‘Spring Vegas’ that have no place in a professional environment."
Kessem said she also knows from past experience how blurred the lines can get.
While running against Rep. Robert Martwick (D-Chicago) in the 19th District in 2018, Kessem said she made a trip to Springfield and while there was quizzed by a lawmaker on if she would be spending the night in town.
“I thought that was very odd,” she said. “I’m a married woman, so I don’t know why this man would feel the need to ask me something like that. There’s definitely some undertone to a lot that goes on down there.”
Melissa Kreithen has stepped forward to identify herself as the second woman accusing Sauer, who was recently taken into custody after being indicted on 12 counts of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images.
Kreithen, a former girlfriend of Sauer, said she was moved to come forward after hearing news of the other allegations lodged against him. She added her anger only swelled when she considered Sauer served on a sexual harassment task force while in Springfield.
“There’s no excuse for someone using private intimate photos of someone without their consent in this matter,” Kreithen said in a new release first made public on Jan 10. “I am also concerned there might be other victims of his crimes, and want to reach out and empower others to have the courage to come forward.”
Kessem said she can identify with everything that Kreithen is feeling, especially the part about wanting to educate and empower other females.
“I always say I think we need to educate women to have the power to stand up for themselves,” she said. “I definitely think that’s something we all need to be working toward.”