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Nebraska State Sen. Julie Slama countersues candidate Herbster

Slama seeking damages from the Republican gubernatorial candidate for sexual battery
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 12:15 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - State Sen. Julie Slama of Sterling has filed a countersuit against Charles Herbster, a Republican candidate for Nebraska governor who filed a lawsuit Friday against her.

Slama’s countersuit claims damages “for the sexual battery she suffered,” according to a news release from Slama’s attorney, Dave Lopez. On April 14, the Nebraska Examiner reported allegations that Herbster had grabbed eight women, including Slama, inappropriately in years past.

In a Monday news release, Lopez reiterated that Herbster would be “subject to the full scope of civil discovery if he proceeds with any legal attack... With our court filings today, we make good on that promise.”

Herbster is slated for deposition on Friday, May 6, at the Johnson County Courthouse, the release states.

Calling Herbster’s lawsuit “a frivolous and bad-faith attempt to bully a sexual assault victim” that is “defective in key respects,” most notably that the lawsuit wasn’t actually served.

“We will not permit Charles Herbster to file a frivolous, bad faith lawsuit that purports to cast doubt on Senator Slama’s account of her sexual assault, use his national media megaphone to herald the existence of that lawsuit for his own gain, but then take no steps to actually serve it and subject himself to the legal accountability such service would trigger,” Lopez said in the release.

Herbster filed a defamation lawsuit in Johnson County, Slama’s county of residence, on Friday.

“As set forth in my lawsuit, the false accusations and attacks on my character are part of a greater scheme calculated to try and defeat my candidacy,” Herbster said in Friday’s release. “I will not stop fighting until the truth is told and my name is cleared.”

While no dollar amount is defined in the court filing, the lawsuit states that Herbster has “suffered damages in an amount to be proven at trial.”

Nebraska’s primary election is Tuesday, May 10.

Among other things, Herbster’s lawsuit takes aim at her radio appearance on KFAB hours after the Nebraska Examiner broke the story on the accusations. Slama didn’t specifically address this point in her counterfiling, but did respond to a number of other points in Herbster’s original lawsuit.

In the countersuit, she takes issue with several details, even down the cities of residence for each side: She denies she is a resident of Sterling, and makes a veiled statement about Herbster’s city of residence as well.

She also denies in the document that no one came forward until recently, that she never suggested anything inappropriate happened between them, and that her recent statements were a calculated tactic to harm Herbster’s candidacy for governor of Nebraska.

Slama did confirm she received a $10,000 donation from Herbster, but denies that she asked him for the contribution, the countersuit states. Her lawsuit also counters that Herbster received an invitation to her wedding because he was on a political donor list, belonging to her now-husband, which was used to generate the guest list.

Read the countersuit

Managing editor Kevin Westhues contributed to this report.

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