Katie Brennan says that Al Alvarez raped her and that the details of her assault in a Wall Street Journal story posted online today by Kate King are accurate.
“On April 8th, 2017, Al Alvarez raped me. On April 9th, 2017 I learned that the system is broken,” Brennan said in a statement sent to the New Jersey Globe. “I have pursued every form of justice available. But it has become clear that this system is not built for survivors.”
Brennan said the assault occurred while she was a volunteer on Phil Murphy’s campaign for governor and Alvarez was a senior campaign official.
“The details of the assault portrayed in reporter Kate King’s Wall Street Journal report published today are accurate. But to date, I have received no justice. I decided to come forward because I know that Al Alvarez, and all perpetrators, must be held accountable, must never rape again, and the justice system needs a complete change with regard to sexual violence,” Brennan said.
Alvarez was eventually hired as chief of staff at the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, a post he resigned earlier this month. Brennan serves in the Murphy administration as the chief of staff at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.
She said that New Jerseyans have just two years to file a civil suit as victims of sexual assault. “After spending an entire year pursuing a criminal case before hitting a dead end, I am left with less than one year to pursue civil action,” said Brennan.
“It is clear that leadership from the Murphy administration is needed to create meaningful policy change on several levels to make sure future victims do not have to endure what I have. I urge Gov. Murphy and the Attorney General’s Office to eliminate the statute of limitations on civil action related to sexual assault, and to direct prosecutors to be more aggressive in taking on these criminal cases,” Brennan said. “Further, the Murphy administration and the General Assembly should pursue legislation to ensure New Jersey’s police and other first responders are better trained to handle sexual assault victims.”
“Finally, sexual predators like Al Alvarez are only able to stay in power when those around them do nothing. Several senior level members of the Murphy administration were aware of my assault and failed to take meaningful action,” said Brennan. “Al Alvarez remained employed at a senior level in the Murphy administration until just a few weeks ago, when he knew the Wall Street Journal article was coming out and opted to resign. The failure of members of Gov. Murphy’s staff to respond in an aggressive, proactive fashion is unacceptable.”
Brennan called on other sexual assault survivors to come forward.
“To other sexual assault survivors in New Jersey, I urge you to join me in coming forward if you are able. I will stand with you, because when we stand together, we are safer and stronger. Our voice is our power. Together, we can finally receive the justice we all deserve,” she said.