Nikola founder Trevor Milton has been formally accused of sexually assaulting two women — including his own cousin — when they were teenagers years ago, a new report says.
The allegations add to the swirl of controversy surrounding the 38-year-old figurehead of the electric-vehicle startup, who stepped down as Nikola’s chairman last week after he was accused of lying about the company’s technology.
One of the women, Milton’s cousin Aubrey Ferrin Smith, has accused him of groping her at a funeral for their grandfather in September 1999, when she was 15 and he was 17.
Smith first made the allegations on Twitter last week and filed a formal complaint on Saturday with police in Holladay, Utah, where the incident allegedly took place, CNBC reported late Monday.
The second woman, who has not been publicly identified, claimed Milton penetrated her vagina with his fingers when he was 22 and she was a 15-year-old office assistant at a security company he ran, according to CNBC.
The woman told the outlet that Milton allegedly groped her and put his hands down her pants in a “movie room” at the company’s office in St. George, Utah, in 2004.
“He was in a position of power and he would give me a ride home from that job and this happened at the end of one of the days that I worked there and I was somewhat at his mercy because I couldn’t even go home until he was going to give me a ride home,” the woman told CNBC.
A police official in St. George told CNBC that a complaint involving a minor was filed there Friday but did not provide any other details.
A spokesman for Milton said he “strongly denies these false allegations.” The spokesman did not say whether Milton has been in touch with the Utah authorities or give any details of his account of the alleged incidents.
“At no point in his life has Mr. Milton ever engaged in any inappropriate physical contact with anyone,” the spokesman for Milton told The Post in a statement.
Both of Milton’s accusers are being represented by Craig Johnson, a former Utah prosecutor, according to CNBC. He did not immediately return a phone call The Post made to a phone number listed under his name outside of normal business hours Tuesday morning.
The sexual misconduct accusations mark the latest episode in Milton’s swift downward spiral. He left Nikola’s board after short-selling investment firm Hindenburg Research published a report accusing him of making false statements and calling Nikola an “intricate fraud.”
A spokesperson for Nikola did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the assault allegations against Milton.
Nikola’s shares were down about 3.6 percent in premarket trading Tuesday at $18.60 as of 7:46 a.m.
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