Investigation finds former Virginia Gov. Wilder kissed Roanoke woman against her will, Post reports

Investigation cleared him of three other charges

By Shayne Dwyer - Reporter, Samantha Smith - Digital Content Producer, Jeff Williamson - Digital Content Manager

RICHMOND, Va. - An investigation has found that former Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder kissed a 20-year-old college student originally from Roanoke without her consent, according to the Washington Post

The Post reports that the alleged incident happened while Sydney Black, now 22, worked as an office assistant at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. 

The Post reports that the investigation, which was conducted by an outside attorney hired by Virginia Commonwealth University, found Wilder was responsible for "non-consensual sexual contact." 

The investigation reportedly cleared him of three other allegations made by Black: sexual exploitation, sex- or gender-based discrimination and retaliation. 

The alleged incident happened when Wilder took Black out to dinner to celebrate her 20th birthday, gave her alcohol and invited her back to his Richmond condo, which is where he kissed her, according to The Washington Post.

“He reached over and put his hand on my right leg, and I just kind of looked at him, and as soon as I looked at him, he kissed me on my mouth. I immediately jerked away," Black told the Post about the encounter.

Wilder, now 88 years old, was the first African-American governor of any state, serving as Virginia's governor from 1990 to 1994. VCU recently rewnewed his contract as an assistant professor at VCU, according to the Post.

"It's curious timing but I also don't know if the powers that be that make that decision had any idea of how close or not close," Jason Wolfrey, Black's attorney said from his Roanoke office Thursday.

  

The Post reports that Black, who is also African-American, struggled with filing a report that could hurt Wilder's legacy and bring negative attention to herself.

“I had to choose being a woman over being black,” she told the Post.

Wolfrey said his client just wants to put this entire thing behind her and transfer schools to finish college somewhere else.

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