Scott Lee Cohen's Past Comes Back to Haunt Him

Allegedly held a knife to girlfriend's throat

By Andrew Greiner
|  Friday, Feb 5, 2010  |  Updated 4:20 PM CDT
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Seeing Red: Republicans Who Could Reshape Illinois Politics

Scott Lee Cohen (D) is running for Lt. Governor: He started the "Rod Must Resign" group. | Read Full Profile

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Scott Lee Cohen

won his party’s nomination to run for Lieutenant Governor Tuesday night.


By Wednesday the triumph of victory was tainted by new questions over a 2005 arrest for domestic violence against his girlfriend at the time, according to the Sun-Times.

The misdemeanor charge against Cohen, a pawnbroker, was later dropped when the woman --- who was once convicted of prostitution – didn’t show up to court.

But the Sun-Times obtained court records that say Cohen held "a knife up to complainant's neck causing minor scars," according to the police report from his arrest.

There also were "minor scars on her hand from her trying to defend herself against the arrestee swinging the knife at her." Cohen also allegedly "pushed complainant's head against [a] wall, causing a bump on the back of her head."

"It was a difficult time in my life. I was going through a divorce, and I fell in with the wrong crowd," Cohen told the paper. "I was in a tumultuous relationship with the woman I was dating. We had a fight, but I never touched her."

"She never came to court and the charges were dismissed," Cohen said. "I realized this relationship was not healthy for me. I ended it, and we parted amicably."

Cohen says he didn't know the ex-girlfriend, Amanda J. Eneman, was a prostitute and said his contact with her at the spa was strictly professional.  But records indicate there were numerous complaints of prostitution at Eden Spa around the same time he visited there and met Eneman.

The newly uncovered information could cause problems for the Democratic ticket. As a Lt. Governor candidate, Cohen is essentially Pat Quinn’s running mate.

When asked about the snafu, Quinn didn’t exactly defend Cohen, a self-funded candidate who suprised many with his win.

"I think he should come forward and tell us everything about his background," Quinn said on Chicago Tonight.  "But anything dealing with that has to go through the [Democratic] state central committee. I want to see what Mr. Cohen has to say. I don't give opinions until I hear all the facts from the person involved."

Cohen's campaign spokesman Phil Molfese tried to downplay the information during an interview with the Chicago Tribune.

"These are accusations of what she says happened, but that is not what happened," Molfese said.  "I think this is totally ridiculous," he said. "They were living together. They had a fight."
 

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