David Wu
© Beth Nakamura
Rep. David Wu is facing pressure to resign in the face of allegations of a sexual impropriety involving the daughter of an old friend in California.
Congressman David Wu, who earlier this year apologized for bizarre behavior during his most recent re-election campaign, was facing calls for his resignation on Saturday over yet another crisis - a young woman's reported accusation that she had an "unwanted sexual encounter" with the Democrat three weeks after his election victory in November.

Wu's spokesman, Erik Dorey, said the seven-term Democrat had a telephone conversation on Saturday with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi about the allegation, which was first reported by The Oregonian. Dorey would not comment on the substance of the conversation. An aide to Pelosi declined Saturday to comment on Wu.

Late Friday, the 56-year-old Wu issued a one-sentence statement about The Oregonian's report: "This is very serious, and I have absolutely no desire to bring unwanted publicity, attention or stress to a young woman and her family."

Pressure was building on Wu to address the allegation publicly. There also were calls for his resignation.

"I'm saddened to hear this news," said State Rep. Brad Witt, who is running against Wu in next spring's Democratic primary. "David owes the citizens he represents a detailed explanation. If this accusation proves to be true, it's time for David Wu to resign and get the help he needs."

Former Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, also a Democrat, called on Wu to step down now.

"Obviously, I think the right decision would be to resign," Bradbury said. "I felt that way (after previous reports of erratic behavior) and I feel that even more strongly now."

Earlier this year, Bradbury announced he was supporting Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, another challenger for Wu's seat, and at the time called Wu "damaged goods."

Quoting anonymous sources, The Oregonian reported that Wu told senior aides that the sexual encounter last November with the young woman in California was consensual. The paper reported that Facebook notes indicate she graduated from high school in 2010 and that she registered to vote in California last August.

The paper said the woman decided not to press changes because there were no witnesses and it would have been her word against Wu's. The newspaper said its information came from multiple sources familiar with the allegation.

The Oregonian's report adds new troubles for a congressman who fought accusations of strange and erratic behavior during his re-election campaign last year. Seven members of his re-election campaign quit in January because of behavior that included sending a photo of himself in a tiger costume to a staff member and an angry public speech.

Earlier this year, Wu said that his erratic behavior last year was the culmination of a period of mental health challenges that began in 2008 as marital issues led toward separation from his wife. The couple's divorce proceedings are ongoing.

In a 2004 re-election bid, Wu acknowledged a decades-old college incident in which he tried to force an ex-girlfriend to have sex. His opponent in the general election tried to use the report from Wu's undergraduate days at Stanford in 1976 to show Wu wasn't fit to serve.

Instead of derailing his campaign, the opponent's tactics were regarded as unseemly, and Wu won re-election handily.

Oregon's Democratic leaders were reluctant to discuss the latest allegation on Saturday.

"We're waiting to see what happens," said Trent Lutz, executive director of the Democratic Party of Oregon.

The Oregonian quoted sources as saying that a distraught young woman called Wu's Portland office earlier this year and left a voice mail accusing him of an unwanted sexual encounter in Southern California three weeks after last year's election.

The paper said the woman is the daughter of a high school friend of Wu's who has donated to the congressman's campaign.

Wu represents Oregon's 1st Congressional District, which includes part of Portland and stretches northwest to the coast.

Source: The Associated Press