A man accused of molesting former Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., while she was jogging along the Missouri River this week has been arrested, police said Friday.
McSally was running in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Wednesday when a man came up behind her and “engulfed her in a bear hug,” she said in a video posted on Facebook shortly after the attack.
“He molested and fondled me until I fought him off,” she said.”I then chased him down, I said a lot of swear words. In this moment, I was in a fight, flight or freeze, and I chose to fight. I ran after him, I threw my water bottle after him and I chased him into the brush, where he was then hiding as I called 911 and waited for the police to come.”
The man fled before officers could arrive.
Council Bluffs police identified Dominic M. Henton as the suspect through surveillance video and “other investigative means,” a news release states. Two photos released by the department showed Henton, 25, following McSally eastbound over the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge and then southbound onto the trail, police said. Two other images showed him in the area before and after the alleged assault took place.
Henton, who authorities said is believed to be a transient, was taken into custody Friday around 3:23 a.m. by police in Omaha, Nebraska. He is waiting for extradition to Council Bluffs on a charge of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.
After his arrest, McSally wrote on Facebook, “Omaha Police Department arrested my attacker around 4 this morning.” She included the prayer hands and flexed biceps emojis in her post.
The former Senator, who failed to win reelection in 2020, was in Omaha to speak about courage.
“And I just had it put to the test,” she said in her Facebook video.
McSally said she was still trying to process what happened and that it “tapped into a nerve of other sexual abuse and assault that I’ve been through in the past.”
In 2019 at an Armed Services Committee Subcommittee hearing on military sexual assault, McSally revealed that she had been raped by a superior officer while in the Air Force. McSally, who was the first female fighter pilot to fly a combat mission, said at the time that she felt “powerless” and blamed herself for the assault.
But in Wednesday’s attack, she said she “felt like I took my power back.”
“He tried to take power from me, but I turned it on him and he was running from me instead of the other way around,” she said.
In another video, from when she was at the airport on her way to Chicago, she said she became emotional thinking about what happened to her. She encouraged anyone going through trauma to “process it.”
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