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Kansas county GOP chair accused of forced kissing resigns

October 7, 2021 GMT

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — The Republican Party chair for Kansas’ most populous county resigned Thursday, days after the public disclosure that he has been accused of forcibly kissing another local GOP leader at an anti-abortion group’s fundraiser this summer.

Fabian Shepard’s decision to step down as GOP chair in Johnson County in the Kansas City area was confirmed by the county party’s vice chair and the Kansas Republican Party’s executive director, The Kansas City Star reported. Johnson County Vice Chair Marisel Sanchez Walston will serve as county chair until local GOP activists can have an election.

Stephanie Cashion, vice chair of the neighboring Wyandotte County Republican Party, said earlier this week that she filed a battery complaint with Bonner Springs police accusing Shepard of kissing twice her without her permission at an Aug. 20 Kansans for Life event. Police released a copy of an incident report filed Sept. 3 with the complaining party’s name redacted.

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Shepard has denied the accusation. He did not return telephone messages Thursday from The AP seeking comment. His resignation was first reported by the Sunflower State Journal.

The police report said the woman told police that Shepard asked her to follow him around the side of the event venue, then grabbed her and forcibly kissed her.