UPDATE: Zepnick refuses to resign amid sexual misconduct allegations

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Democratic state representative accused of kissing two women against their will is refusing to resign but says he will decide later whether to seek re-election in 2018.

Milwaukee Rep. Josh Zepnick says he is "disappointed and disturbed" that he was stripped of his legislative committee assignments, a move that further marginalizes him in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Zepnick issued a statement Monday saying he has a right to defend himself from allegations made by two women who told the Capital Times newspaper he had forced himself on them in 2011 and 2015.

Zepnick has apologized and says he will decide whether to seek re-election to a ninth term "at the appropriate time in my life."

Zepnick says he hopes his removal from committees will be temporary.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state legislator accused of sexual misconduct says he has the constitutional right to "due process" in defending himself against the allegations made by two women.

Rep. Josh Zepnick was stripped of his Assembly committee assignments Tuesday, a move Zepnick says he hopes is only temporary. In a statement, Zepnick criticizes "anonymous allegations all being done through news media reports."

The Capital Times newspaper reported that two women who requested anonymity accuse Zepnick of forcing himself on them. One woman told the newspaper she was working at the state Democratic convention in 2015 when a drunken Zepnick kissed her. The newspaper described the other woman as a former legislative staffer. She said a drunken Zepnick kissed her during a 2011 party for a state Senate recall candidate.

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