The report found probable cause for four of five specific allegations made by Rachel Perrin Rogers, the Senate legislative aide who came forward with the initial complaint against Latvala. It described a Senate in which alcohol is commonplace in legislative offices during the day, provided graphic detail of how Latvala allegedly groped and grabbed Perrin Rogers in an elevator, and how he allegedly arrived drunk from Grey Goose vodka in the Senate Majority Office on April 18.
The report also noted several incidents “memorably centered on donuts,” a favorite food of Latvala’s. In one incident, Perrin Rogers attempted to “calm him down” after he got angry one morning when the majority office had no donuts. Latvala responded, “I always appreciate you,” Perrin Rogers testified, and then “briefly squeezed on my love handle section.”
The Senate did not include any identifying information of other accusers in the report released to the public. But the surprising scope of the conclusions, which included more women than the initial complaint, is a devastating blow to Latvala’s attempt to fight the allegations.
Latvala, 66, who was at the pinnacle of his power as Senate budget chairman until the allegations surfaced in November, testified before the special master and repeatedly denied ever hugging any woman in a manner that was intended to make them uncomfortable and refuted each of the Perrin Rogers’ assertions. Five other women had made accusations anonymously in a story reported by Politco but were not part of the official complaint made to the Senate. Latvala stepped down as chair of the committee and vowed to fight the charges.
But the bombshell came at the end of the report, where a new accuser, now a Florida Senate employee, emerged. The unnamed woman testified that she has known Latvala since about 1995 and had a “close personal relationship” with him that was at times intimate.
She testified that when Latvala became engaged to his current wife, “she thought the sexual nature of her relationship with Senator Latvala would stop. It did not.”