A second woman has come forward with a sexual assault allegation against Nikola Motors founder Trevor Milton, CNBC reported on Monday.
The woman’s lawyer, Craig Johnson, told CNBC that the alleged assault happened in 2004 when she was 15 and Milton would have been 22, after he hired her as an office assistant for a security company he ran in St. George, Utah.
“The allegation by my client is that he digitally penetrated her vagina with his fingers, which under Utah law constitutes object rape, and that is the charge the police will be investigating, in addition to forcible sexual abuse, which includes any ancillary touching of the vagina during the assault,” Johnson said, according to CNBC.
The first woman, Aubrey Ferrin Smith, Milton’s cousin, came forward with a separate allegation on Twitter last week that he had sexually assaulted her when she was 15 and he was 18. Ferrin Smith also spoke to The Wall Street Journal about her allegations, and they confirmed that he is her cousin and said they spoke with two people, who said she spoke to them about the alleged assault months after the alleged occurrence. A police complaint was filed in Holladay, Utah on Saturday.
“Mr. Milton strongly denies these false allegations. At no point in his life has Mr. Milton ever engaged in any inappropriate physical contact with anyone,” a spokesperson for Milton told Business Insider in an emailed statement.
St. George Police Department and the Unified Police Department of Utah did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Milton stepped down as executive chairman of Nikola earlier this month amid fraud allegations surrounding the company and his own past business dealings.
The announcement came one week after short-selling firm Hindenburg Research accused the startup of lying about its products and deals with other companies. The research firm called Nikola’s business an “intricate fraud.” The Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice are both reportedly investigating the claims. Milton has denied the claims of fraud.
On Sunday, the Financial Times also reported that Milton purchased the designs for the Nikola One semi-truck, contrary to the company’s narrative that Milton came up with the designs “in his basement.” Nikola’s stock tanked as much as 24% last Thursday after Wedbush analysts led by Dan Ives gave the company its first “sell” rating, citing Milton’s departure, among other factors.