CLEVELAND – A pro-life mother of four who met a Republican congressional candidate at a Tea Party rally claims that when she volunteered to help with his campaign, Tom Ganley had her come to his office, where he gave her $100 and “told her that she should purchase some high heels, a thong, and some lingerie” so he could “parade her around on a leash while his other ‘play’ friends watched.” Robin Cupredo-Saccany and her husband accuse Thomas Ganley of attempted rape and sexual assault in Cuyahoga County Court.
Through his attorney, Ganley, a car dealer, called the allegations “extortion.”
Ganley sought the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate until mid-February, when he switched to seeking the nod for the 13th Congressional District. The Saccanys’ complaint refers throughout to the period during which Ganley sought the nomination for Senate.
Robin Cupredo-Saccany describes herself in the complaint as “a conservative Republican and a fervent believer in Christian family values, an ardent supporter of right to life, and a dedicated opponent of abortion.” She adds that she “is almost thirty (30) years younger than Ganley.”
She says she met Ganley at a Tea Party rally in downtown Cleveland on July 3, 2009, which she attended with her four children, whom she introduced to the candidate. When Ganley told her that one of his goals was to end abortion, Saccany says, she told him she wanted to work for his campaign.
“At that time she also mentioned to Ganley that she had purchased her van from the Ganley Chevrolet dealership at a high interest rate and asked if there was any way to get a lower interest rate,” according to the complaint. “Ganley stated that he would look at the numbers and see what he could do.”
She says Ganley told her to call him at his Chevrolet dealership to talk about volunteering for his campaign “and also about lowering her van interest rate.”
She says they met on July 13 and “discussed her opposition to abortion, her faith, the Bible, and the election campaign with Ganley.” Ganley told her he wanted her to work on his campaign and added that “if she was interested in a paid job … he would help find her a position working with his car dealerships,” the complaint states.
She says she accepted the offer, and when she brought up her van’s interest rate, “Ganley told her that they would have to set up another meeting to get that taken care of.”
At the second meeting, later in July, she says, Ganley told her “that he and his wife lead separate lives and that his wife ‘lives on the other side of the house.'” He also “told Mrs. Saccany that she needed to start having some ‘fun’ in her life,” according to the complaint. She adds, “Mrs. Saccany did not know where he was going with that line of talk,” so she “directed the conversation back to his election campaign.”
Again, they did not address her van’s interest rate she says.
Saccany says Ganley called her toward the end of the month and asked how her van was running. She said it had some steering problems, and Ganley told her “that he would have his service department fix it free of charge,” the complaint states.
She claims, “Ganley called Mrs. Saccany four (4) times on July 30 and July 31, 2009, as the telephone records demonstrate, and told her to bring her van to his service department that Saturday August 1, 2009, and then to come upstairs to his personal office for their third and final meeting.”
She says she did so, and that “When Mrs. Saccany went upstairs into Ganley’s office, the smell of cologne was overpowering, and as Mrs. Saccany walked into his office Ganley sprayed breath freshener into his mouth.”
The complaint adds: “Then Ganley started the ‘fun’ talk again. Ganley told her that he had a condo in Strongsville where he would like to take Mrs. Saccany to have some ‘fun.’ Ganley then told Mrs. Saccany that he has a group of people that he ‘plays’ with. At this point Mrs. Saccany was in shock.”
The Saccanys’ attorney says he “verified the fact that Ganley in fact did own a condominium in Strongsville,” and lists the address.
The complaint continued: “Ganley then pushed a $100 bill across his desk toward Mrs. Saccany and told her that she should purchase some high heels, a thong, and some lingerie, so she could play along with him and his friends. Mrs. Saccany was speechless and shocked beyond words.
“Ganley told Mrs. Saccany that he wanted her to be ‘submissive’ to him, and that he wanted to ‘dominate’ her and parade her around on a leash while his other ‘play’ friends watched.
“Mrs. Saccany told him several times that she did not want to be involved with something like that, but he continued his pitch.”
Mrs. Saccany says she “just listened and was noncommittal and nonresponsive to his perverted entreaties. All Mrs. Saccany was thinking about was that she had to get out of there, but she was still waiting for her van repairs to be completed. …
“It flashed through Mrs. Saccany’s mind at the time, that this guy is the head of Crime Stoppers in Cleveland; who is going to believe me?”
She says she got up from her chair “to walk around the office in an attempt to avoid looking at Ganley directly across the desk, and “he came up from behind her, grabbed her, began kissing her, and stuck his tongue in her mouth and almost down her throat. Mrs. Saccany pushed him away and was in further shock and dismay and stated to Ganley: ‘What would your wife say?’, but that did not deter him.
“Ganley breathing heavily continued to grope Mrs. Saccany and told her that he wanted to have sex with her and have others watch. That made Mrs. Saccany sick and was so over the top offensive to her that she was in shock and did not know how to respond, but continued to resist.
“Ganley told her that he wanted her to be submissive, and that if she did not make up her mind quickly about ‘playing’ with him that she was replaceable, because there were others who would love to play that role.
“Ganley then started pulling Mrs. Saccany into the bathroom in an attempt to rape her as she struggled with him and resisted. Ganley attempted to force Mrs. Saccany into the bathroom and rubbed her crotch and then stuck his hand down the front of her pants attempting to penetrate her vagina. Ganley was moaning, making noises, and he had a contorted and disgusting look on his face.”
In a last-ditch attempt to stop the assault, Saccany says, she “told Ganley that she was menstruating in hope that he would stop his sexual assault. When she stated that, Ganley stopped his physical sexual assault, but continued his lewd and disgusting talk.”
Then the service department called to say her van was done. “Ganley assured Mrs. Saccany that there would be no charges for the work that his company had done on her van, and that he would just write it off,” the complaint states. “The ‘free’ billing statement for the August 1, 2009 van work is attached hereto as Exhibit 2.”
“He insisted that she take the $100 bill that he had given her, and Mrs. Saccany then left.”
Saccany says she returned to $100 bill in an envelope to Ganley’s place of business on Oct. 9, 2009. She says that later in October, “in a telephone conversation heard by a third party, Ganley admitted these actions and apologized several times. He told her no hard feelings and if you ever need anything let me know. He said let’s just forget this.”
But Saccany says she “cannot forget about this attempted rape and sexual assault, and feels dirty, shamed, soiled, and violated.” She says she is “undergoing professional counseling as a result of the attempted rape and sexual assault by Ganley,” and also has been prescribed “high doses of anxiety medication as a result of Ganley’s actions.”
She claims that “Ganley in desperation even attempted to contact Mrs. Saccany recently on at least seven occasions at her home in the month of July 2010 alone, in an attempt to intimidate her”.
She says a 5-hour private mediation session on Sept. 13 this year did not resolve the problem. She says she decided to file this complaint after Ganley’s “previous 25-year general counsel, Russell Harris” sued Ganley on Sept. 7, “apparently related to the potential attempted suborning of perjury by Ganley. The filing of this lawsuit helped alleviate plaintiffs’ fears in proceeding against Ganley.”
The Saccanys seek damages for attempted rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and loss of consortium. They are represented by Edward Heben Jr.
In a statement posted Friday on his “Tom Ganley for U.S. Congress” website, Ganley said: “Today, you may have read a story in The Plain Dealer about a lawsuit filed against Tom Ganley. The charges made within the lawsuit are totally false and aimed to tar the image and character of Mr. Ganley at a crucial point in his campaign for Congress.
“Tom has always believed strongly in our American judicial system and, as many of you know, has assisted the FBI and other law enforcement agencies in various high profile criminal prosecutions. It is unfortunate that he has to defend himself against these false allegations in the middle of a hotly contested campaign, but defend himself he will.
“We know Tom Ganley to be an upstanding citizen and businessman and we trust voters will make the proper assessment about what may motivate such a suit a month out from a major election.”