Tea Party Candidate Ken Buck Dismissed Rape Case, Called Allegations "Buyer's Remorse"
When it comes to women's issues, extremist Senate candidate Ken Buck (R) of Colorado isn't exactly a champion. He is, for example, on record supporting bans of forms of birth control and the criminalization of all abortion rights, even in cases of rape or incest. During his GOP Senate primary, Buck even mocked his opponent for wearing high heels.
But revelations about Buck's handling of a 2005 rape case have put the candidate's attitudes towards women in an even more painful light.
Three weeks from Election Day, stories have suddenly emerged about Buck's refusal to follow up on rape allegations involving a University of North Colorado student during his stint as Weld County District Attorney. While other prosecutors have filed criminal charges against alleged rapists in similar cases, Buck declined, claiming insufficient evidence.
Renewed criticism has erupted over Buck's handling of the case in light of some of his newly-resurfaced remarks, including a conversation he had with the victim and his suggestion that a jury would view the rape charges as merely her "buyer's remorse." [...]
The Huffington Post has obtained the audio of the meeting Buck held with the victim as well as the pertinent police report -- both of which, critics say, make him seem callous and even hostile in dismissing her pleas.
At the time, a 21-year-old student had gotten together with a man she used to date. Intoxicated, the young woman invited her alleged attacker to her apartment. She apparently passed out, but woke up to find herself being violated. The attacker conceded to police that the woman had said "no," and the police report added, "he realized he had done something wrong." The same report went on to say he felt "shame and regret" and even tried to "apologize" to the victim.
Despite all of this, Buck concluded the case wasn't worth prosecuting. In his conversation with the victim, in which Buck was recorded without his knowledge, he argued, "It appears to me and it appears to others that you invited him over to have sex with him."
I realize that prosecutors have a variety of factors to consider before filing criminal charges, but in this case, Buck was not only dismissive of an apparent rape victim, he had a police report in which the attacker practically confessed to the violent crime.
I've long questioned Ken Buck's judgment. He does, after all, support repealing the 17th Amendment, privatizing Social Security, eliminating the Department of Education, scraping the federal student loan program, and has even said liberals are a bigger threat than terrorists.
But these revelations about his record as a county prosecutor seem to make his judgment look even worse.
Editor's update: Transcripts of the recorded conversation suggest that part of the reason Buck did not want to take the case was because he suspected the alleged victim had had an abortion. (from Colorado Independent, h/t Daily Kos):
BUCK: There are a lot of things that I have a knowledge of, that I would assume (name of possible suspect redacted) knows about and that they have to do with, perhaps, your motives for (unintelligible) and that is part of what our calculation has been in this.
VICTIM: I’m interested to hear more about that, my motives, for what this has been.
BUCK: You have, you have had HIS baby, and you had an abortion.
VICTIM: That’s false, that’s just false.
BUCK: Why don’t you clarify?
VICTIM: I did have a miscarriage; we had talked about an abortion. That was actually year and a half ago. So ...
BUCK: That would be something that you can cross-examine on, that would be “something that might be a motive for trying to get back at somebody.” And it would be a (unintelligible). And it’s part of what we have to take into account whether we can prove this case or not. And there are a lot of things that, um, you know, for as why weren’t not prosecuting the case. We’ve got to weigh all that, and it not something that I feel comfortable with, but something I have to be.