Raleigh city councilman resigns amid allegations of sexual misconduct

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — One of the men accusing a Raleigh city council member of sexual misconduct is speaking out. The News & Observer first broke the story Friday morning, Saige Martin resigned soon after.

Juni Cuervas said he’s relieved Martin resigned. He told CBS 17 he was sexually assaulted and the person behind it shouldn’t be in a position of power.

“I’m not brave or courageous, I’m just a decent human being,” Cuervas said.

He said he decided to share his story after he learned he wasn’t alone, there were other accusers.

“I’d been repressing these feelings and this experience for close to a year now. And I just kept telling myself that if I tell myself he just had too much alcohol, that it was just a bad hookup, that it wasn’t sexual assault and then I don’t have to deal with the trauma related to it,” he explained.

It dates back to July 2019. Cuervas said he’d known Martin for about a month. He admits going up to Martin’s apartment but said he told him no several times.

“He forced himself on me,” he explained.

Cuervas, one of four current or former students at N.C. State to accuse Martin of sexual misconduct.

The News & Observer broke the story Friday morning. Hours later, Martin resigned.

Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin took to Twitter, calling the allegations shocking. “Any type of unwanted sexual behavior is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated or excused, especially when perpetrated by someone in a position of influence or power,” she wrote.

CBS 17 asked Cuervas why he didn’t go to the police. “This was peak election… I didn’t want to do anything that would harm our community, the LGBTQ community,” he said.

Martin was elected to city council last fall. He became one of the first openly gay members.

Cuervas said he’s made peace with what happened and doesn’t plan to file any charges.

Martin is not facing any charges. CBS 17 reached out to Raleigh Police and N.C. State and they said he was not the subject of any investigation.

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