One of the three women allegedly victimized by Sen. Norm McAllister (R-Franklin) is dead, authorities said Monday.
While officials have not determined a cause of death, they do not suspect foul play or suicide in the 57-year-old Enosburg Falls woman's death, Vermont State Police spokesman Scott Waterman said.
"Preliminary investigation showed no signs of foul play," Waterman said. "Detectives are waiting on a toxicology report and autopsy to determine a cause of death ... There does not appear to be any evidence she committed suicide."
Police were called about the woman at 12:52 p.m. Saturday, but the time of her death is in question, Waterman said.
In an online fundraising page, the woman's family says she died Saturday. The family could not be reached for comment.
The woman did not say McAllister sexually assaulted her, as two other Franklin County women alleged. But she broke open the case when she called police after McAllister allegedly propositioned her.
The crimes allegedly began in December 2012, according to state police affidavits, but came to light only last month when the 57-year-old woman contacted police. She said that McAllister had propositioned her for sex in exchange for allowing her son, who was behind in rent, to continue to live in a trailer McAllister owns. Investigators recorded conversations between the woman and McAllister to quickly build their case, court documents say.
Reached at home Monday evening, McAllister expressed surprise at her death.
"I heard rumors that she had. Nobody's said anything official," McAllister said in a brief interview with Seven Days. "Jesus. I don't know how I'm supposed to respond to that. I don't know. I don't know ... how to respond to that. I guess I will leave it at that."
It was not immediately clear how her death will impact the case against McAllister. Authorities conducted extensive interviews with her, and recorded her phone calls with McAllister. Additionally, five of the six charges against McAllister, including the three felonies, are for alleged acts against the other two victims, both of whom have cooperated with police.
Franklin County State's Attorney Jim Hughes did not respond to a message seeking comment.