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Parents sue D.C. Council candidate for abuse at her business

Monday - 4/2/2012, 8:49pm  ET

Natalie-Williams.jpg
Williams is running to represent D.C.'s Ward 8 on April 3. (Courtesy nataliewilliamsonline.com)

Mark Segraves, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - The parents of a young girl are suing a candidate running for the D.C. Council. The couple says their daughter was sexually abused while working for the candidate's modeling business.

According to court documents, Natalie Williams, a former advisor to Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry, was a partner in Blitz Associates and House of KAS Collection in Prince George's County in the National Harbor. Williams is now running to replace Barry on the Council.

The parents claim over the course of several months in 2010 their 13-year-old daughter was sexually abused on numerous occasions at the modeling business.

Williams and her former partners, Kenneth Flanagan and Keosha Mitchell, are being sued for $1,000,000 in punitive damages by the parents of the girl.

Flanagan, who goes by the nickname KAS, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual abuse of a minor to avoid a trial and the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence, according to his attorney Kevin McCants.

"The allegations were so extreme and outrageous and it was going to be his word against the word of a minor, so to avoid the possibility of years and years in prison he came to a deal with prosecutors," McCants said in a phone interview.

Williams issued a statement Monday night in response, saying she had not received any documentation about the lawsuit.

"I want to make it very clear At no time, did I ever manage or work with the minor involved in Mr. Flanagan's legal matter," she said. "At no time since its inception has Mr. Flanagan been a partner in Blitz Associates. At no time was I aware of Mr. Flanagan's prior criminal background. First as a woman, and then as a mother of a 10-year-old daughter, I would never have knowingly allowed myself or anyone around me to be in danger or subjected to behaviors such as this. My personal and professional character and integrity is one that I hold very dear and will not be compromised under any circumstances."

It's not the first time Flanagan has pleaded guilty to a serious crime. In 1995, KAS pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to a murder in Montgomery County, according to McCants.

The couple's lawsuit alleges that their daughter should have known about Flanagan's past and he should never have been left alone with a young girl.

"It makes me sad," the girl's mother said of her daughter's experience. "If she was aware of his previous convictions then she should have made us aware."

Her daughter says she's trying to move on with her life, but says it was common knowledge among other models that KAS had a criminal background.

"I trusted her," the girl said of Williams. "I think she could have told us about his previous conviction."

Williams is running as a candidate in the April 3 Democratic primary to unseat her former boss, Marion Barry.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)