Activist Clay Chastain is suing a Lenexa woman who claimed in a Facebook post that he attempted to sexually assault her more than 20 years ago.
Chastain’s defamation suit maintains that Anne Hodgdon made the “vicious, malicious and false accusation” last year in part to undermine his election campaign to unseat Kansas City Mayor Sly James.
Attorneys for Hodgdon filed notice on Friday that they are seeking to move the case to federal court. It was initially filed in Johnson County District Court in December.
Hodgdon, a member of the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, expressed her support for James last May in the Facebook post, in which she called Chastain a “whacko.”
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In it, she described a 1994 incident in which she went to Chastain’s Kansas City residence to discuss their mutual interest in public transit and to see his plans for a streetcar system.
But according to the post, when he tried to kiss her and she moved away, he became angry and ripped open her blouse. Hodgdon said she “kneed him as hard as I could” and ran from the residence.
Hodgdon said she drove away with Chastain running after her “enraged and screaming like a madman.”
In his lawsuit, Chastain says that at the time of the alleged incident he had no such streetcar plans as she described on Facebook.
“The very prop defendant (Hodgdon) said plaintiff (Chastain) used to lure her to his home to be sexually attacked by him did not exist,” he said in the suit.
He said that her post was designed to harm his “good name, reputation and his effectiveness as a Kansas City community activist.”
“I’m tired of the dirty tricks, dirty tactics and lies to try to stop me,” he said Monday.
Hodgon’s attorney declined to comment Monday.
The suit seeks damages of $500,000.