A Wisconsin state lawmaker endorsed by Paul Ryan has come under criticism for suggesting that “some girls rape easy.” While discussing a case in which “a 17-year-old high school senior was charged with sexual assault for having sex with an underage girl in the school’s band room,” State Rep. Roger Rivard (R) told the Chetek Alert newspaper in December that his father taught him that some girls will portray a sexual encounter as rape if they become pregnant. He is now claiming that those remarks were taken out of context and has issued a statement condemning sexual violence:
On Wednesday, Rivard told the Journal Sentinel the article did not provide full context of his comments and that his father’s exact words had been slightly different from how they appeared in the Chetek Alert.
He told the Journal Sentinel that his father had advised him not to have premarital sex, and he took that seriously.
“He also told me one thing, ‘If you do (have premarital sex), just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry,’ “ Rivard said. “Because all of a sudden a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen and she’s not going to say, ‘Oh, yeah, I was part of the program.’ All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she’s underage. And he just said, ‘Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,’ he said, ‘they rape so easy.’
“What the whole genesis of it was, it was advice to me, telling me, ‘If you’re going to go down that road, you may have consensual sex that night and then the next morning it may be rape.’ So the way he said it was, ‘Just remember, Roger, some girls, they rape so easy. It may be rape the next morning.’
“So it’s been kind of taken out of context.”
Ryan endorsed Rivard on August 9, just two days before he was selected to be Mitt Romney’s running mate. “Roger needs to be reaffirmed to get this job done and fix the State of Wisconsin,” Ryan said.
Ryan withdrew his endorsement on Thursday. “State Representative Rivard’s comments are outrageous and offensive,” Kevin Siefert said in a statement. “Congressman Ryan believes there is no place in our discourse for rhetoric such as this. Congressman Ryan cannot support Mr. Rivard or his indefensible comments.”