John Conyers served in the U.S. House of Representatives since Lyndon Johnson was president. But his long tenure came to a swift end after a number of sexual harassment allegations were made against him by former staffers and others. The 88-year-old recently announced his resignation from Congress, endorsing his son as his replacement.
Almost immediately after the announcement and endorsement, news articles surfaced with reports that John Conyers III had been arrested early this year in Los Angeles on domestic violence charges. Prosecutors declined to bring charges in the matter, media outlets reported.
Conyers III was arrested in February after his girlfriend apparently told police that he had knocked her down and stabbed her during an argument. According to the Associated Press, the girlfriend had a small cut on her arm, but prosecutors apparently did not believe that they could prove that the injury was not accidental.
Conyers told law enforcement officials that he had accidentally stabbed his girlfriend after she had threatened him with a knife. He said they struggled and he disarmed her.
She claimed she had taken up the knife to protect herself after he body-slammed and pinned her. She also alleged that he disarmed her and cut her.
She told officials that the argument began after he accused her of cheating on him.
She requested a restraining order in March. He responded in court documents that she has a “history of mental illness and has made previous false allegations.”
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said in a report that neither Conyers nor the woman has criminal histories. Neither had been involved in previous reported domestic violence incidents.
We don’t know how these allegations will be resolved, but we do know that domestic violence charges are serious and require a vigorous defense by an experienced attorney.