A millionaire Republican donor and Donald Trump supporter has been convicted of sexual battery in Washington DC for an incident on the eve of the president’s inauguration.
John Joseph Boswell, 70, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual abuse in a DC court last month after allegedly touching two maids in his hotel suite inappropriately on January 19.
Boswell, who is CEO of Independent Stave Company – the worlds largest wine-and-whiskey barrel manufacturer, was accused of approaching the first worker from behind in his room at the Mayflower Hotel and ‘rubbing her buttocks’, the Washington Post reports.
‘This is very nice stuff, I like that!’ he said, according to a police report of the incident.
The maid, who is an African immigrant and still works at the hotel, froze when she was grabbed and said ‘sorry sir’ before another cleaner came in.
The Post reports the maid immediately jumped away from Boswell when her colleague entered the room, before she ran out physically shaking.
The second maid, according to the police report, was then also touched inappropriately by the married father-of-three.
The newspaper cites a police report stating Boswell ‘placed his hand on the top of her shoulder’ while she was making the bed. But the maid then ordered him to sit down.
Neither of the workers reported what happened, however the next day another co-worker told a manager and then police were contacted.
The 70-year-old was then arrested at his hotel room about 6.30pm on January 20 and hauled away by police. He was released from the DC Superior Court on January 21, and when he left the courthouse he was initially thought by a crowd outside to be one of the 200 or so anti-Trump protesters arrested on the day of the inauguration.
However, someone quickly shouted out – the Post reports – he was a ‘sex offender’, which prompted the crowd to quickly turn.
Boswell was then pelted with fruit and other garbage. He was hit in the face with an orange slice.
When the 70-year-old appeared in court he pleaded guilty, despite telling the Post he was innocent by claiming he ‘patted’ the maid on the ‘lower back’ in a ‘friendly gesture’.
But in an email sent to Boswell’s legal team, assistant US attorney Vivian Kim painted a different picture.
‘He took advantage of [her] while she was working, vulnerable, and alone,’ Kim wrote, according to the Post.
Boswell was sentenced to 10 days behind bars and six months probation, but the jail time was suspended.
The 70-year-old, who earns $600,000 per month according to court records and lives in a 14,000-square-foot, $7million Palm Beach mansion, was fined $50.
Judge Michael Ryan also granted Boswell special dispensation to be allowed to travel out of the country while he was on probation. The 70-year-old went on holiday to the Bahamas in April, and is reportedly set to visit the Dominican Republic later this month.
In contrast to Boswell’s jet-setting few months since the sexual assault, one of the maid’s has been forced to move apartments after receiving an ‘aggressive’ visit from the CEO’s legal team, the Post reports.
A co-worker who spoke to the newspaper said the two women never discussed what happened in the room with each other, and the first maid would cry whenever she spoke to anyone else about it.
Boswell, according to the Post, has donated more than $120,000 to ‘Republican candidates and conservative groups’ since 1992. He supported Marco Rubio and Ben Carson during the Republican primaries, before he embraced Trump in time for the inauguration and traveled to Washington to celebrate it.
The two maids both still work at the hotel. They have not been named publicly.