Editor’s Note: This article contains mentions of alleged sexual assault and may be disturbing for some readers. Reader discretion is advised.
On June 26, Raleigh City Council member Saige Martin resigned from office, according to Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin. Martin’s resignation follows four sexual misconduct allegations against him by current and former NC State students, reported by The News & Observer.
Martin is one of the first LGBTQ+ officials on the Raleigh City Council and an NC State alum. According to The N&O, the accusations are from 2017-2019, when Martin was seeking a master’s degree at NC State College of Design, as well as a teaching assistant for an introductory course in the College of Design from 2018-2019, when he was running for City Council.
NC State University Communications staff member Mary Pike Cole told The N&O that the University is unable to provide information about complaints made against specific people
Martin disputed the allegations of misconduct and denied the assaults in an interview with The N&O, claiming he is being targeted by a specific group in an attempt to discredit him. Martin stated to The N&O that these allegations seem to appear when certain members of the queer community feel he is not being progressive enough.
“They pop up whenever there is a progressive issue they feel I am not progressive enough on, right?” Martin said. “It’s not every day of the week, ‘Saige Martin is a sexual predator. Saige Martin is sexually assaulting people. Why isn’t the news taking it up?’ It’s ‘Oh look, it’s police misconduct. And Saige Martin is a bootlicker and by the way a sexual predator.’ They are always tying it to something they feel I am not being progressive enough.”
According to The N&O’s Anna Johnson, Martin said he was “sorry for the harm this has caused the community,” and that he will have a statement to share later.
Baldwin released a statement on Facebook and Twitter announcing Martin’s resignation.
“I am shocked by the allegations made against Councilor Saige Martin,” Baldwin said in a statement. “He has offered and I have accepted his resignation. Any type of unwanted sexual behavior is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated or excused, especially when perpetrated by someone in a position of influence or power. I commend the survivors for the courage to come forward to tell their stories.”
Three of the four accusers wished to not have their names published, but all shared their stories with The N&O. The stories established a pattern of “predatory” behavior from Martin. To read the full stories, click here.
Students can find resources pertaining to sexual assault and interpersonal violence on the Counseling Center’s website. Students can call the Women’s Center 24-hour sexual assault helpline at 919-515-4444.