Overijssel councilor resigns over sexual harassment accusations

A 29-year-old woman from Raalte received dozens of sexual messages and photos from a CDA city councilor in the Overijssel town. The councilor in question, Robert Vloedgraven, decided to withdraw as candidate councilor for the CDA in Raalte, he announced on Wednesday, De Stentor reports.

"Pictures of himself and also of his genitals, messages asking whether I'm shaved below and that I have big breasts. That kind of messages", the woman said to RTV Oost on Tuesday. She did not like the sexting, but found it hard to say no due to an anxiety disorder, she said.

Vloedgraven and the woman met each other through an election debate that she arranged for her hobby radio station. The messages started shortly thereafter. They only stopped when the woman's husband intervened a few days later. He contacted the CDA in Overijssel, and a meeting was set up between the woman, Vloedgraven and the party management. 

On Tuesday Vloedgraven told RTV Oost that he regrets what happened. "Last night we had a short conversation where I apologized. All parties left satisfied. What happened, should never have happened." Vloedgraven also said that the party management left it up to him to decide whether he will return to the city council, should he get enough votes in today's elections.

He decided that he will not return, De Stentor reports. In a statement released on Wednesday, Vloedgraven said that he realizes a city councilor should set an example and is a public figure. "Therefore such contacts do not belong with politicians. I deeply regret that this could have happened. For that I personally apologized, which initially seemed sufficient."