Sussex official accused of sexual assault

A Sussex County councilman is accused in a lawsuit of repeatedly sexually assaulting a teenager after encouraging her to get involved in politics.

The lawsuit alleges that Republican councilman Vance C. Phillips forced the woman into sex several times in 2011, beginning a few weeks after she turned 18. The 17-page complaint includes graphic details about alleged bondage and sex toys. It also alleges that Phillips threatened the woman not to tell anyone.

Phillips said Friday he hasn't seen the complaint but looks forward to telling his side of the story.

State police investigated Phillips after lawmakers received an anonymous letter last year claiming he was involved in a relationship with an underage girl. No charges were filed.

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