Former Staffer Takes Stand in Sexual Harassment Case Against Iowa Senate Republicans

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Kirsten Anderson finally got her day in court.

She was the first witness in her civil case against The Iowa Senate Republican Caucus. She spent almost six hours on the stand recounting her time as the communications director for the party.

The attorney team for Anderson, lead by Michael Carroll, spent most of their three hours asking her to share some of the inappropriate behaviors she witnessed from 2010-2013.

"Sex life was discussed,” said Anderson.

According to Anderson, it didn’t stop with jokes about sex. She alleged that there were hundreds of racially charged jokes aimed at all races.

“Ethnic jokes. Racist jokes. Sexual orientation jokes. Religious jokes. Disparaging comments about ethnicity,” said Anderson.

She claims pornography was shared openly by her superiors and even comments about potential clerks and their sex lives. 

“Mr. Friedrich said that this potential clerk liked the rhythm. Some at the meeting didn’t know what that meant and asked. He responded that she likes [having sexual intercourse with African American men],” said Anderson.

After the lunch recess, the defense had the opportunity to cross examine Anderson. Molly Weber leads the defense for the state, and she wasted no time attacking Anderson's credibility.

“Did you think this was acceptable behavior?” asked Weber.

“We talked to each other like a dysfunctional family. Did we use coarse language, yes,”  Anderson responded.

The defense laid out exhibit after exhibit of Anderson participating in coarse behaviors, including emails dating back to 2010 showing Anderson engaging and encouraging her coworkers in inappropriate topics.

Anderson did get a brief break from the stand. Her former boss, John Hodges, past Director of the Iowa Senate Republican Caucus, offered his testimony. He wasn’t much help to either side as he couldn’t remember much from his time with the party. 

Anderson will remain on the stand on Wednesday morning. More of her former coworkers are expected to speak, including several state Senate Republicans.