SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon state senator is resigning after an investigation determined he had harassed women in the Capitol with prolonged hugging, groping and other unwelcome physical contact.

Sen. Jeff Kruse, in a statement Thursday, remained defiant, proclaiming his innocence. He said his resignation is effective March 15.

An investigative report released Tuesday said the long-time Republican senator from the former timber town of Roseburg had groped or gave lingering hugs to two female senators, two law students who used to work for him, Republican and non-partisan staffers, a former legislative aide and a lobbyist.

The report said the behavior had continued for years, despite warnings that he stop.

Senate President Peter Courtney said Kruse made the right decision.

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