(DLCC.org) – You might remember Republican State Sen. Dennis Nolan of Nevada from last week, when he was caught on tape allegedly offering to bribe the witness in a rape trial to change her story.
Well, this story just got much, much uglier. Sen. Nolan has now posted an open letter on his campaign website claiming he feels “compelled to believe the sex was consensual” because the 16-year-old victim had been “very sexually active” prior to the rape, and because (“as a side note,” he says) 42% of Nevada teenagers have been sexually active before age 16.
Just to reiterate, this is a man whose job it is to write laws, including the laws used to prosecute sexual assault. This man has no business serving in any public office – he needs to resign, immediately.
This is the sort of document that eventually gets scrubbed from a campaign website, so we’ll quote from the screen-shots we took:
As a side note in Nevada, approximately 42% of all teens ages 12-16, admit to having had intercourse, about 25% of them admit to having multiple partners.(Council of Chief of State Schools Officers), Is it right? NO! Is it right for adults to engage in sex with minors? NO! But sadly, it is happening, and that’s the fact.
Knowing this young lady, reading the case and observing her behavior before and after the incident, I am compelled to believe the sex was consensual. She was very sexually active and, according to court records, had an abortion just two weeks prior to the alleged sexual assault (this is now public record). Was it right? NO!
Nolan also lashes out against the victim’s father, accusing him of being a pedophile:
My call to the “alleged” victim’s sister, Mr. Lawes’ ex-wife, who is an acquaintance, was made only after I received information that both young women were abused as children by their father and that he may be continuing to “control them” as abusers often do. The possibility that the very person publicly accusing me of “defending a SEX OFFENDER, being FRIENDS with a RAPIST “ may himself have been or may be an abuser, is maddening.
And as for the answering machine message – the one where he tells a witness from the case that it would be “very financially beneficial” to change her story? Nolan has an explanation for that too:
I made two calls to the woman pleading with her to talk to me and offering to assist in getting the help she needed to stand up to her father and regain custody of her children. They went unanswered, I left a third message implying “someone” could compensate her if she would tell the truth “about what was going on”. The Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau Legal Division issued a written legal opinion which stated clearly, this did not constitute “attempted bribery”! These allegations are just plain lies!
Clearly. Nolan’s logic is that he offered someone else’s money, therefore it couldn’t have been a bribe. Just like this girl could not have been raped because some other teenage girls are sexually active. And just like being sexually active even once means that all future sexual activity is consensual.
This kind of disgusting rhetoric – especially coming from an elected official – is exactly why sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes in the country. Victims have to worry about whether they’ll be believed at all and whether their reputations will be dragged through the mud by people like Dennis Nolan.
We already thought Nolan had gone too far, but now we’re convinced. He needs to resign