NEW JERSEY (FOX5NY.COM) - The closely watched U.S. Senate race in New Jersey has taken another ugly turn.
Former pharmaceutical executive and Republican challenger Bob Hugin's latest ad against Democratic incumbent Bob Menendez invoked old, unsubstantiated allegations that he had sex with underage prostitutes during trips to the Dominican Republic.
"These are lies—you know it, I know it and Bob Hugin damn sure knows it as well," Menendez said Wednesday.
In the ad, Hugin's campaign referred to an affidavit that was based on an anonymous tip sent to the FBI and an ethics watchdog six years ago.
"The only women who were ever identified by the FBI unequivocally and categorically refuted the statements or recanted and admitted to law enforcement they were paid to lie about it," Menendez said.
"We have evidence that came out in this FBI affidavit with allegations with substantial corroboration by the FBI alleging misconduct," Hugin said. "And Senator Menendez was on the Senate floor so hypocritically saying, 'We should listen to women.'"
Hugin was referring to Menendez's remarks in the Senate about women accusing men of sexual misconduct.
"When will we as a society begin to believe women?" Menendez said in those remarks. "To trust women?"
The prostitution allegations were never substantiated but federal prosecutors charged Menendez with corruption. The trial ended in a hung jury. Federal prosecutors later declined to retry Menendez.