Rape case catches up with Ken Buck

The Republican candidate refused prosecution because of the alleged victim's prior relationship with the accused

By Tracy Clark-Flory
Published October 13, 2010 12:24AM (UTC)
main article image
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck greets supporters at an election night party in Loveland, Colorado while waiting for results in his race against Jane Norton in the Republican primary election August 10, 2010. Buck was endorsed by conservative Tea Party groups and portrays himself as a Washington outsider. (Rick Wilking / Reuters)

If you thought that high-heels gaffe was the height of Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck's offensiveness, think again. The Colorado Independent is bringing to light a 2005 rape case that the Weld County District Attorney declined to prosecute, in part because the alleged victim had a prior sexual relationship with the accused attacker. Today, the newspaper released the transcript of a taped phone call the accuser had with the alleged attacker in which he acknowledges that he raped her. It goes a little something like this:

Victim: "You do realize that … it's rape."

Suspect: "Yeah, I do."

Victim: "Like in a number of different ways, because I didn't want to do it and because I was intoxicated and because I was afraid."

Suspect: "Yes I do. I know."

The Independent explains, "In establishing whether there were grounds to arrest the suspect, Greeley police had the victim phone the suspect from the police station. That call was recorded and entered into evidence." The recording was made without his knowledge, so it can't be used in court -- but it was presumably part of the evidence Buck considered before declining to prosecute.

It was also presumably information he was privy to before his meeting with the alleged victim, the transcript of which the Independent published yesterday. He explained to the accuser that the case wouldn't fly because of her prior sexual relationship with the alleged attacker and the fact that she had invited him over that evening. It's worth reading the entire transcript, but this particular exchange stands out:

Buck: Because when you look at what happened earlier in the night, all the circumstances, based on his statements and some of your statements, indicate that you invited him to come to your apartment ... that you told him how to get in ... . It would appear to me and it appears to others that you invited him over to have sex with him. Whether that you, at that time, were conscious enough to say yes or no ... ?

Alleged Victim: So you're telling me that previous sexual relations is enough to provide consent, and you're telling me that because of me calling him and because of previous sexual relations and because I invited him up and told him how to get in, that invited him up for sex ...

Buck: I'm telling you that's what the circumstances suggest, to people, including myself, who have looked at it. Although, you never said the word yes, but the appearance is of consent.

Alleged Victim: Even though, he also stated that I told him no.

It's also worth noting that Buck, who believes abortion should be banned even in cases of incest and rape, implies that she had an ulterior motive in pursuing the case: "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. ... You have, you have had HIS baby, and you had an abortion." (Never mind that she says they only considered an abortion but ended up miscarrying.)

Some might ask why this is relevant to Buck's current Senate bid. Kjersten Forseth of ProgressNow Colorado put it perfectly in an interview with the Independent: "This shows us how he views women and what he thinks their role is. It shows us that even when a woman is the victim of a rape he will not advocate for her," she continues. "Do we want him making policy for the entire United States?"

Tracy Clark-Flory

MORE FROM Tracy Clark-FloryFOLLOW TracyClarkFloryLIKE Tracy Clark-Flory

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Broadsheet Love And Sex Violence Against Women