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Minnesota state lawmaker ends reelection bid amid daughter’s allegations of inappropriate touching

Minnesota state Rep. Jim Knoblach announced Friday that he would be ending his reelection campaign amid allegations he inappropriately touched his adult daughter for over 10 years.

The abrupt announcement from the 60-year-old Minnesota Republican came just hours after his attorney denied the allegations in an interview with Minnesota Public Radio.

Knoblach’s 23-year-old daughter, Laura Knoblach, came to the station to tell her story after she said she exhausted all other means.  

She alleged that the earliest memory of her father’s inappropriate behavior dates to when she was just 9 years old and continued until she was 21. Her accusations include inappropriate kissing, licking and biting of her ears.

Laura Knoblach told MPR that she recalls her father entering her bedroom after she had gone to sleep. He would climb into her bed and lie down beside her.

“He would put his arm around me and not let me get up or get away and he would lick my neck or bite my ear,” she told the station.

She alleges other acts, including at least 30 instances where Knoblach approached her from behind in the kitchen and pressed himself up against her, pinning her against the refrigerator or dishwasher.  

Laura says she confided in close friends and family and even law enforcement but with no avail.

The St. Cloud Police Department and Sherburne County sheriff’s office began an investigation last year but declined to file charges.

She provided extensive documentation to the station about her attempts to get help, which included a letter from the Sherburne County attorney’s office saying there was “insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Jim Knoblach had committed a crime.”

The St. Cloud Police Department did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment regarding why charges were not filed.

Knoblach vehemently denied the allegations.

In a written statement he said that his daughter “has been estranged from our family for some time.”

“In late 2016 she made some extremely hurtful and untrue accusations on a Facebook post, which was briefly put up and then taken down. These accusations were fully investigated by Sherburne County, dismissed, and the case closed in April 2017,” his statement read.

Knoblach did not return multiple attempts by Fox News for a comment.

As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and in a hotly sought after seat, Knoblach’s departure will make it difficult for Republicans to hold a write-in campaign by a substitute candidate.

It is likely that Dan Wolgamott of St. Cloud, the Democratic candidate, will win the election.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Paulina Dedaj is a writer/ reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @PaulinaDedaj.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/09/21/minnesota-state-lawmaker-ends-reelection-bid-amid-daughters-allegations-inappropriate-touching.html

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