Politics

Nancy Pelosi calls for House probe into Tony Cardenas sex abuse allegations

Rep. Tony Cardenas volunteers for
Rep. Tony Cardenas volunteers for "Better Know a District" on Colbert Report
Kitty Felde/KPCC

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has called for a "prompt" investigation by the House Ethics Committee into sexual abuse allegations against Rep. Tony Cardenas.

The Los Angeles congressman denies claims that he molested a 16-year-old girl in 2007 when he was a city councilman. Cardenas said Thursday that he's the unnamed target of a lawsuit alleging the abuse. His lawyer called the allegations "categorically untrue."

Pelosi on Saturday said Cardenas told her he will cooperate with an ethics investigation. The House Minority Leader said Cardenas asked his colleagues to withhold judgment until there is an examination of the facts.

The lawsuit claims Cardenas gave the girl a peculiar-tasting cup of water while they were playing golf. She says she collapsed and the man fondled her while driving her to the hospital.