Ten days after a series of bombshell allegations came out accusing Assemblyman Juan Ardila of sexually assaulting two women, one of the victims told amNY Metro that she is devastated that he has shown no signs of stepping down and that his actions represent a continued “abuse of power.”
Ardila, a first-term assemblyman who represents western Queens, has been silent since he issued a statement on March 14, one day after several local news outlets reported allegations that he had sexually assaulted two intoxicated women at a party in October 2015.
He said in that statement that he took “responsibility for my actions” and was “eager for a restorative justice-centered process.”
But not a word has been uttered by him since on the matter, despite calls from more than a dozen elected officials for him to resign. The officials include Gov. Kathy Hochul, State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Congressmembers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Grace Meng, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, and state Sens. Kristen Gonzalez, Julia Salazar and Mike Gianaris, Ass. Zohran Mamdani, Councilmembers Julie Won, Tiffany Caban, Robert Holden and many more.
One of the women who accused Ardila of sexual assault said his silence was in keeping with his character.
“Juan’s response to the accusations has shown me that little has changed between now and 2015,” she told amNY Metro. “Despite the evidence, Juan initially denied the allegations, and then reluctantly delivered a manufactured apology followed by radio silence.”
The woman, who called for him to resign last week, then went on to say: “It is clear that he does not care about the harm that he has inflicted on others, including his constituents who feel deceived and are calling for him to resign. Juan does not embody the level of integrity or honesty that should be expected from someone in his position. Just like that night in 2015, he continues to abuse power. He needs to resign.”
Ardila posted two tweets Wednesday night, the first communication he has had with constituents since his May 14 statement. Neither addressed the sexual assault allegations.
In one tweet he reached out to his Muslim constituents, wishing them well as many begin to fast: “Ramadan Mubarak to all who are fasting for the holy month in #AD37 and beyond!”
In the other tweet, he said that a resolution had passed in the state assembly proclaiming March 22 as Water Day.
The tweets generated some harsh responses.
“All the water in New York State won’t wash away the stain of sexual assault,” one person responded. Another wrote: “Didn’t your victims call for you to resign?”
Ardila did not respond to amNY Metro for comment.
💧Today, my colleagues in the State Assembly & I passed a resolution proclaiming March 22 as #WaterDay in the state of NY!
Fresh water is one of our planet’s most precious resources, so let’s fight to keep our waterways clean, free of pollution & keep water accessible to all. pic.twitter.com/5FfRi9Peel
— Juan Ardila (@JuanArdilaNYS) March 22, 2023