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Dec 7, 9:18 AM EST

Democratic lawmaker on sex misconduct charges: 'It happened'


MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Democratic state lawmaker accused of kissing two women against their wishes is admitting for the first time that he did what they alleged.

Milwaukee Rep. Josh Zepnick tells WTMJ-TV in a Wednesday interview that "It happened and I regret it and it wasn't intended to cause anybody any harm."

Democratic leaders have called for Zepnick to resign from the seat he's held since 2003, but he refuses. He's been removed from the committees he serves on as leaders further marginalize his role in the Statehouse.

Zepnick says he has a right to due process and that his peers should hear both sides of the story. Two woman told the Capital Times newspaper that Zepnick was drunk and kissed them in 2011 and 2015.

Zepnick says he is a recovering alcoholic and has been sober for two years.

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