COLEBROOK, Conn. (AP) – A state lawmaker has acknowledged paying $100,000 to a woman to settle a lawsuit that alleged he sexually abused her when she was a child.

Rep. George Wilber, a former Colebrook first selectman, denied the allegations, which first became public in a Saturday story in The Register Citizen of Torrington.

The woman, now in her 40s, accused Wilber of sexually abusing her from when she was 11 until she turned 18.

Wilber, 63, said Sunday it was a “family decision” in 2005 not to fight the allegations in court, but to settle them. He said the decision was, in part, a financial one.

“Insurance companies do this and things like that when you have automobile accidents and things,” he said. “We’re not admitting any guilt whatsoever.”

Wilber said he will continue to run for a fourth term in the legislature. He represents the towns of Barkhamsted, Canaan, Colebrook, Hartland, Norfolk, North Canaan and Winchester.

Wilber, a Democrat, said he does not know if there was a political motivation to the story becoming public this close to the election.

“I’m not saying,” Wilber told the Sunday Republican. “As far as I know, my opponent has been aboveboard. I’m not going to accuse anybody of wrongdoing.”

John B. Rigby, his Republican opponent, said he had no knowledge of the settlement until he was contacted by reporters. “I’d like to keep the race about the issues at hand: taxes, economy and jobs,” he told the Republican.


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