If you ask Sen. Jack Latvala questions about the sexual harassment allegations against him, he’ll tell you no lies — at least according to a lie-detector test he took Wednesday.
Latvala’s attorney, criminal defense attorney, Steve Andrews, told Florida Politics that the Clearwater Republican took and passed a polygraph performed by a former chief examiner for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
In a sworn statement and under penalty of perjury, Latvala said that at no time did he “ever intentionally touch a female’s private areas such as her buttocks, lower frontal abdomen, or breasts in a crowded Senate elevator.”
Latvala said he never used his “body to block the view of my hands while I rubbed the leg of a female Senate staffer while she cried” and that he never “intentionally touch(ed) the breast of a female or cup a woman’s ass in the Capitol Rotunda against her will.”
Those were the three allegations, detailed in the POLITICO Florida report, that he addressed in the polygraph test.
According to the test results obtained by Florida Politics, Latvala was “not deceptive” when asked about claims that he sexually harassed six women. It is important to note, though, that polygraph tests have been considered flawed and debunked of value in detecting lies by some in the scientific community.
While they continue to be used in non-judicial settings, most psychologist and scientists agree that there is little basis for the polygraph tests being valid, according to the American Psychological Association.
Results of polygraph tests are admissible in Florida courts if all parties involved in a case consent to the test results’ submission as evidence.
Since the report came out, detailing the accounts of six anonymous women who say the Republican gubernatorial candidate harassed and groped them, Latvala has lost his seat as Senate Budget Chair.
An investigation into the claims has also been opened by Senate President Joe Negron who is still in search of a third-party investigator to head the probe.