A Nebraska man was arrested early Friday after allegedly assaulting former Arizona Sen. Martha McSally while she jogged along the Missouri River, police said.
The Council Bluffs, Iowa, Police Department identified the suspect as Dominic Henton, 25, of Papillion, who was charged with one count of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.
“I was just assaulted while I was out running along the Missouri River,” McSally said in a video posted to Instagram Wednesday. She was in the area to speak at an event in Omaha, Nebraska, which is across the river from Council Bluffs, McSally said.
“A man came up behind me, and he engulfed me in a bear hug, and he molested and fondled me until I fought him off,” McSally said in the video.
The former senator, who has stated that she was a victim of sexual assault while serving in the Air Force, said in the video that she chased her attacker but he was able to get away.
McSally, the Air Force’s first female pilot to fly in combat after a ban on women was lifted, was appointed to fill the seat formerly held by the late Sen. John McCain after she narrowly lost a race to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema for Arizona’s other Senate seat in 2018.
Council Bluffs police released photos showing a man approaching McSally on a pedestrian bridge at Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park in Iowa.
Henton was arrested in Omaha and will face extradition proceedings to Council Bluffs, Sgt. Ted Roberts told CNN. He was held without bond at the Douglas County Correctional Center in Nebraska.
Police used surveillance camera footage from the area to identify the suspect, who was later recognized by employees of a nearby restaurant, according to an arrest warrant. A credit card used at the restaurant revealed Henton’s name.
“I know it’s tapped into a nerve of other sexual abuse and assault that I’ve been through in the past – which I’ve healed from as much as I feel can be done, but in this case, I felt like I took my power back,” McSally said.
In 2019, McSally said she was raped while she served in the military. McSally, who is a Republican, made the revelation during a Senate Armed Services subcommittee hearing on sexual assault in the military.
McSally rose to the rank of colonel in the US Air Force before retiring.
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