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Monday September 23rd, 2019 4:22PM

Lawmaker accused of choking political rival at restaurant

By The Associated Press

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts judge has declined to issue a harassment protection order against a state lawmaker accused of choking a political challenger.

The Lowell Sun reports the judge on Thursday found there was no sufficient basis to file the order against Democratic Rep. Rady Mom in connection with what happened at a restaurant this month.

Sam Meas claims Mom responded angrily when he tapped his shoulder to say hello. Meas alleges Mom grabbed his neck and pressed a fist against his chest.

Mom's lawyer, John Cox, says several witnesses disagree with that account. He calls the complaint politically motivated.

The lawmaker says he greeted Meas with a "normal handshake."

Mom is an acupuncture therapist who in 2014 became the first Cambodian-American elected to a U.S. state Legislature.

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This story has been corrected to show the challenger's name is Sam, not Randy.

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Information from: The (Lowell, Mass.) Sun, http://www.lowellsun.com

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