Nikola’s Milton Accused by a Second Woman of Sexual Assault

Nikola Corp. founder Trevor Milton has been accused by a second woman of sexual assault.

The woman used to be Milton’s work assistant and was 15-years-old at the time of the alleged attack, which she says occurred in Utah, according to a statement from the law firm representing both victims.

A spokesperson for Milton said he “strongly denies these false allegations.”

“At no point in his life has Mr. Milton ever engaged in any inappropriate physical contact with anyone,” the spokesperson said. Nikola shares fell as much as 5.4% to $18.25 before the start of regular trading.

Milton has had a tumultuous few weeks. He stepped down from his executive chairman position at the electric-truck maker after claims of deception leveled by short seller Hindenburg Research sent Nikola’s stock spiraling. He’s also been accused by his first cousin, Aubrey Smith, of sexual assault in 1999 when she was 15 and he was 17 -- allegations he has also denied.

Both women are cooperating with law enforcement as their allegations are investigated, Provo, Utah-based firm Craig Johnson Law said in the statement. The second woman’s allegations were first reported by CNBC.

Hindenburg Research, a firm that owns a short position in Nikola’s stock and stands to gain from a decline in the share price, said Sept. 10 that Milton and Nikola deceived investors about its business prospects -- claims that are now the subject of inquiries by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and, reportedly, the Justice Department.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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