Buck’s “Woman Problem” Takes Serious Turn

UPDATE #2: The legs on this story are growing longer by the day. Full reports now from ABC News, Fox 31, and The Huffington Post, the latter of which includes the full audio.


UPDATE: Politico’s David Catanese reports to a national audience:

Buck seemed skeptical about the ability to prosecute the case from the beginning of the conversation.

“It’s the totality of the circumstance … prior relationship with him … talk to the experts who try rape cases and have not found a prosecutor yet who would …,” Buck said before being cut off by the victim.

“His statement says, ‘When he finished, … (reading police report) … tried to get the victim to wake the victim up so he could apologize.’ How is that not ‘physically helpless, meaning unconscious, asleep, or unable to act?,'” she interjects.

Buck then pointed to the fact that she invited the alleged rapist to her apartment, and questioned whether she ever verbally refused the man’s advances.

“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?,” he asked. “I’m telling you that’s what the circumstances suggest, to people, including myself, who have looked at it.”

It’s hard to say if this is the kind of momentum-swinging revelation that can decide an election, but it sure has all of the components of one. And before anyone tries to pass the blame on this or offer up some other explanation, remember this: like much of the negative press Buck has received, it is BUCK’S OWN WORDS that make this story so bad for him. “A jury could very well conclude that this is a case of buyer’s remorse,” came from Buck’s very mouth, and it’s that single statement that may make the difference between a negative story and a game-ending story.


Fresh on the heels of our discussion yesterday of the growing disparity between support for GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck among men versus women, and potential major consequences for Buck in this race, the Colorado Independent’s Scot Kersgaard is out with a story this morning that could dramatically worsen Buck’s problems. Excerpts from this new and detailed report on a 2005 Weld County rape case that Buck dismissively refused to prosecute–a must read:

When Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck refused to prosecute a rape case five years ago, he probably had no idea that anyone beyond a small circle of people would care. He learned otherwise quickly enough as the victim demanded a meeting with him (which she secretly – but legally – taped), organized a protest and made sure the media knew all about her plight…

The alleged rape victim is back and determined to be heard. She told her story to the Colorado Independent and provided the tape of their meeting, in which Buck appears to all but blame her for the rape [Pols emphasis] and tells her that her case would never fly with a Weld County jury…

With any other victim, this case may have ended when Buck refused to charge the man with a crime.

This victim, though, has worked as a rape victims’ advocate, and she refused to let the matter drop. When her meeting with Buck got her nowhere, she organized a protest rally at the DA’s office. She spoke with the media. Buck was forced to respond.

He said the facts in the case didn’t warrant prosecution. “A jury could very well conclude that this is a case of buyer’s remorse,” [Pols emphasis] he told the Greeley Tribune in March 2006. He went on to publicly call the facts in the case “pitiful.”

…”She is very strong about her feelings,” said Forseth of the victim. “She believes a grave injustice has been done and that she is a victim of the system.

“What’s most troubling to me about this case,” Forseth continued, “is the way he talks to her in that meeting. There is just so much judgment, in his voice, toward the victim. I would think a district attorney would be an advocate for victims and offer some support, but instead he offers indignation and judgment.”

Uh, not good, folks, and that awful “buyer’s remorse” quote in reference to an alleged rape victim both outdoes and reinforces the ugly connotations of “vote for me because I don’t wear high heels.” And what do you suppose, dear reader, will happen when somebody puts those two quotes together in a well-funded TV spot? Something very bad for a man who wants to be a U.S. Senator.

And as we hinted yesterday, and the Independent hints further by identifying this story as the first in a “three-part series,” the worst revelations about Buck’s “woman problem” could be yet to come…


204 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. SSG_Dan says:

    ….looks like Buck has been caught AGAIN saying one thing to one group, and tap-dancing afterwards.

    Though this time, it’s on tape.

  2. How is rape “buyer’s remorse”?  That’s disgusting.  And that was the published portion of his view on the case back when it happened – I don’t even want to know what was on the tape.

    • Half Glass FullHalf Glass Full says:

      I mean, you have to take it in the context in which it was said. Buck was actually being compassionate not just to this woman but to society at large, just like the fire department that let that house burn down in South Fulton, Tennessee was doing the right thing according to Glenn Beck.

      Buck’s opponents will despicably try to turn this into something it was not. Just like they’re doing to that poor Congressional candidate in Ohio who simply happens to be a historical re-enactment enthusiast.

      I mean, if people can’t occasionally wear Waffen SS uniforms, let houses burn down, and describe rape victims as having “buyer’s remorse” while at the same time threatening to make them felons if they try to abort their rapist’s seed – well, what is the world coming to?  

      • (when it came up), but in war re-enactment, someone has to play the bad guys.  I don’t begrudge the people who get dressed up in Confederate uniforms every now and again to go camp down around Gettysburg for their re-enactment; I don’t begrudge the folks at the Ren. Faires who play the bad guys, or the actors who make their careers playing villains.

        I would give broad leeway to the guy playing the SS in any battle re-enactment scenario or historical educational event where both sides tended to be represented.  OTOH, if he just liked to dress up with a few others in an SS uniform without the whole re-enactment/education bit, that’s a different story.

      • MADCO says:

        And the scariest thing is we know people who think this.

  3. SSG_Dan says:

    I have this thru my inner Mark Twain – “…quadrilateral, astronomical, incandesent son-of-a bitch.”В 

  4. Middle of the Road says:

    doesn’t work. Anyone have that link? I’d like to see that and read through it for myself before weighing in further here.  

    • Middle of the Road says:

      Several problems here for me with this one–Buck states that because she invited him to her home, she gives the appearance of consent. He makes a point of how she was dressed–she was partially nude (in her own home). His other reasoning for not pursuing this case is that the victim and the perpetrator had a past sexual relationship.

      So, is it safe to infer that Buck applies that same standard to a woman who is raped by her husband, since a wife has had sexual relations in the past with him and he has access to the home?

      He specifically mentions that if she chooses to pursue filing a motion to compel a prosecution that the subject of her miscarriage (which he characterizes as an abortion and she denies) will be made a central part of the defense and would be considered a “motive” on her part.

      The transcript is enlightening as to how Buck treated this particular victim and the crime of rape. Vile but enlightening.  

      • sxp151 says:

        Here Buck threatens a rape victim. Charming.

        BUCK: Be aware of something, if this, if you file this motion, it will be very public, publicly covered event. 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.

        Buck refused to prosecute the case because he thought the woman was a bad person for having an abortion. He thought women who have abortions are harlots and temptresses. I don’t even get Buck’s reasoning as to how her having an abortion would make her want to get revenge on the guy who’d impregnated her. How does one follow from the other? I honestly think Buck let his views on abortion cloud the rest of his judgment, because the woman has no motive for revenge.

        As for Buck’s claimed excuse: the alleged perpetrator confessed to it. I’d think as a prosecutor he’s aware that a confession means something. He could have easily gotten a plea bargain from the guy. His notion that he couldn’t get a conviction just doesn’t hold up.

        • Middle of the Road says:

          Ask any poor cop that has ever had to investigate a rape case–they are by far the most difficult cases to prove, unless there is clear physical evidence indicating a physical assault, because it is basically one person’s word against another.

          Rape cases are never easy–why should this one have to meet a higher standard for Buck than any of the others?

          This case is no exception and I don’t read anything here that makes her assault any more difficult or unusual. If anything, the fact that the perp admitted to it makes it easier so why the fuck should Buck walk away from this one case?

          I can only conclude it’s because of the abortion aspect. Nothing else makes sense here.  

        • bjwilson83 says:

          He was saying that she was mad at him for getting her pregnant and therefore having to have the abortion (if she had one, which seems plausible since she says they discussed it). The guy “confessed” to having sex with her, not to rape.

      • MADCO says:

        He could sell her into slavery, but cannot rape her.

  5. Rainidog says:

    sick of!) loves his family, loves his community, the grass-roots candidate, yada, yada.  Community is great as long as it doesn’t require him to deal with some whiny rape victim.  

    But the hubris and arrogance are oozing out of every crack and crevice, and his own words drum louder and louder.  They’re comin’ to get ya, Kenny Boy!  

  6. reubenesp says:

    “The more that women learn about Corey Gardner’s record in the state legislature, the more they know that he is wrong for them,” said Denise Feriozzi, Director of WOMEN VOTE! “From voting against cracking down on dead beat dads who skip child support payments to voting against coverage for children with autism, Corey Gardner’s votes have real consequences for Colorado families.”


  7. sufimarie says:

    for letting your readers know that this is “Uh, not good, folks” for some of your readers may have been confused as to where this falls on the good/not good spectrum, I appreciate your enlightening everyone here.  

  8. bjwilson83 says:

    Did you ever think that just maybe, an ex-girlfriend might want to take revenge on her former boyfriend by accusing him of rape? If the facts weren’t there, the facts weren’t there.

  9. Ralphie says:

    a REALLY NASTY anti-Bennet robocall from American Crossroads.

    The vermin are out in force.

    The only way this story is going to have legs is if some 527 gives it legs.  Not that many people read the Colorado Independent.

  10. jW says:

    I understand the political context here, which is what Pols is commenting on, but there’s a lot more to say about the case than what the excerpts above mention. More from the article:

    [Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner said the case was handled “exactly appropriately” by the DA. “This was a case that would never succeed in court. There was no chance this would result in a conviction,” he said.

    At the time, Buck said he sent the police reports to the Boulder County DA’s office for review as well, and that they agreed with his analysis that this would have been a difficult case to prosecute.

    “The way he handled that victim was unfortunate, but he did learn from that experience.” Davies said that shortly after this case, Buck helped start the SART Program (Sexual Assault Review Team), which includes law officers, victim advocates and others who review cases that may fall into gray areas or look difficult to prosecute.

    Normally amongst a bunch of Buck defenders (H-man, marilou, bj, etc) I’d be pointing out how terrible this is for Buck, but seeing as how none of them have responded – and I’m guessing any response from them will be irrational anyway – I feel this deserves a bit of logical consideration.

    Buck was most likely never heavily involved in this case. His ADAs worked with the victim, and after deliberation and research, given the evidence, they determined and recommended that they would not be able to prosecute the case. They even opted to reach out the the Boulder County DA for advice and received a similar conclusion. I won’t for a second claim that what I read in the meeting transcript paints Buck in a positive light, but I believe that it is his duty as the DA to prosecute based on evidence, and if he didn’t feel that there was a chance that a Weld County jury would ever convict the suspect based on the evidence and account by the witnesses, then he did his job.

    Could Buck have treated the victim differently? Absolutely. But without knowing all of the details of the case or the correspondence between the DA’s office and victim, I’m one to withhold judgement on whether what Buck did was wrong or right.

    That said, the problem, and what I understand Pols is referencing, is that it doesn’t actually matter if Buck was justified in his decision not to prosecute or for his words in the meeting. The straw has been added to the camel, and apparently there are still two more to come. This doesn’t look good for Buck.

    Unfortunately, I’m guessing I may receive a handful of differing opinions from commenters, but this is a crazy busy day for me, and I really shouldn’t have taken the time to write what I did. So, I apologize if I don’t respond right away.  

    • jW says:

      It took me way too long to write that, as I was sidetracked throughout, and I didn’t refresh the page before finally posting to notice that  BJ had pointed out many of the same things.

      Sorry for the repeat.

      I don’t for a second believe Buck should be our next senator. From the few things I’ve read, I’m beginning to realize that Ken Buck is an asshole. His stance on abortion, his apparent treatment of the victim in this case, and his last quote from the tribune article need to be highlighted in the conversation of who should be our next senator.

      I just felt that we shouldn’t make judgement on the case itself. On Ken Buck, however, make as much judgement as you’d like.

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      The other day I posted a link to the greeley tribune that pointed out some of the evidentiary issues in this case.

        BJ, of course, is using his usual psychotic break thing when he insists that no rape happened.  Buck never said anything that stupid.  He merely pointed out the circumstances that would make it difficult to prove rape beyond a reasonable doubt to twelve jurors.  The “buyer’s remorse” line was too inflammatory and is what haunts him, but he didn’t actually say the victim had buyer’s remorse, he said the jury might conclude that.

      Obviously, he should have been more sensitive and legalistic in his statement.  But his decision not to prosecute is defensible.

    • bjwilson83 says:

      Don’t let ideology blind you to where we actually agree!

    • sxp151 says:

      Read the transcript of the victim’s conversation with Buck.

      A DA has the ability to determine whether to prosecute based on how strong the evidence is, although the transcript suggests it’s possible to compel a DA to prosecute. Buck however goes far beyond saying he can’t get a prosecution for the rapist. He says the rape didn’t happen. And his comments to the press are much more direct (“buyer’s remorse”) than his comments to the victim’s face.  

  11. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    because that is what it takes to really be offensive to all women.

    Right H-Girl?  How’s that sore throat?  Hurt your fingers too much to help out defending your teabagging buddy?

  12. State Line says:

    And, sorry to say, but Colo Pols is (for the umpteenth time this campaign season, going back to the Bennet vs. Romonoff drama) caught in an ‘if wishes were horses’ posting paradigm.

    As loathsome as K. Buck is, this item is highly unlikely to deliver any sort of death blow to his candidacy.

    Buck may win (likely) or Buck may lose (one can always hope), but this one little story won’t make one iota of difference.

    Can we get back to substance now?  

    • sxp151 says:

      Buck’s views on abortion clouded his professional judgment.

      How is that not substantive?

    • Colorado PolsColorado Pols says:

      How is this not relevant?

      Elections are not won or lost on issues. Sorry to tell you that. Elections should be won or lost on issues, we’d agree, but they never have been, and that won’t change as long as the vast majority of voters don’t really get engaged enough to understand the fundamental differences between candidates.

      Short, easily understandable narratives (like this one) are what decide elections. Not position papers or policy statements. You can’t look at an election through your own glasses (that is, through the lenses of someone who is engaged and pays attention to politics). Most voters probably couldn’t tell you one difference between Buck and Bennet, and that’s why stories like the one in this post are so important to the outcome.

    • Middle of the Road says:

      just a tad too long to realize that Buck’s job performance as a DA is relevant to his bid to be employed as our next Colorado Senator. You know, kind of like when you interview for a job and your future employers would like a reference from your former employers. Voters are so silly that way–especially Unaffiliated women who are moving away from Buck because of his stances on women’s issues. But what the fuck do they know, right?

      Nothing substantive to see here, ladies. Back to the kitchen we go and lose those shoes, while you’re at it. With Buck at the helm, you’ll be knocked up plenty and won’t need ’em anyway.

      We women shouldn’t worry our pretty little heads over such trivial issues as rape, incest, and birth control. You middle aged white boys have it all under control.  

      • State Line says:

        and my being in temporary exile in lovely Florida is pretty much irrelevant. 🙂

        Am pretty wired in to Colorado’s day-to-day gestalt via various means.

        And just got back from 10 days traveling & listening 850 miles across the Centennial State – more rubber than you probably laid down I would venture – so think I’ve got a pretty sure finger on the pulse.

        We’re on the same side ideologically: I hope Bennet wins (although he’s terminally mushy and indistinct). Fear he will not, however.

        My comment was principally directed to Col Pols’ blinding bias – and to the realities of what counts in political campaigns, which I’ve managed more than my share of.

        As for ‘the woman thang’, I couldn’t agree with you more. I for one would LOVE to see Colorado send a woman to the Senate, that’d be GREAT!

        I mean: wtf? If Washington, California and Maine can have two women in the Senate, can’t Colorado even manage ONE?

        Perhaps Cary Kennedy vs. incumbent Dan Buck in 6 years?  

      • MADCO says:


        Just stop noticing when we don’t and we’ll pretend we like your meatloaf. Or your parents visiting. Or something.

        • State Line says:

           – middle aged, OR

          – a while male.

          Pardon me for living, but wtf?

          • MADCO says:

            Unless you are really fat, or stupid, or both.

          • sxp151 says:

            So you have a higher standard of behavior to convince someone that you’re decent.

            A middle-aged white male who says a prosecutor’s decision to not prosecute a rape (due to his abortion views) is not a big deal or a substantive thing just makes the rest of us look even worse.

            If you don’t get why rape and abortion are genuinely substantive to people who don’t have the same naughty bits as you do, kindly keep your fucking mouth shut.

            • State Line says:

               – First off, you’ve got a serious anger problem, quite clearly. As well of a dose of self-loathing (if, as I understand it, you are a middle-aged white male.) But, better for you to blow off some steam here where it’s harmless rather than out in the real world. 🙂

              – Yeah sure, I’ll grant you: plenty of middle-aged white men are jerks. And so are plenty of elderly hispanic women, and young black transsexuals for that matter. What’s your point here? Are middle-aged white men somehow WORSE (e.g. more ‘guilty’ of something) than other demographic groups? If so, in what way, and why?

              – I never said about Ken Buck what you suggested. I think he’s an ass ideologically and hope he doesn’t win (although I fear he will). That doesn’t mean he made the wrong decision in this particular case, however. I don’t know. And you don’t either. Neither of us is privy to the full facts of the case, or the evidentiary materials available to the prosecutorial team at the time.

              – I think I actually have a pretty good  understanding of the issue of rape unfortunately. One of my sisters is a rape victim, as is a previous girlfriend. I worked for 6 months with victims of mass interethnic rape in Banja Luka, Bosnia in the mid-1990s. So could do without your holier-than-thou attitude on the matter, thanks.



    • bobster1 says:

      the majority of voters in Colorado are women and they vote in higher percentages than men.

      So Ken Buck’s view that Colorado women are second-class citizens is directly relevant to his fitness for office.  

  13. That’s not the kind of press a Senate candidate wants.  It takes some of the worst aspects of the story and shines them on Buck in a very bad light.

    If national papers run with the Politico version of the story, Buck’s higher profile support might dry up.  If the Ghost runs with it, his voters might find other places to be.

  14. Half Glass FullHalf Glass Full says:

    I was willing to give Buck some benefit of the doubt, until this. What a god-damned scumbag.

  15. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    A jury could well conclude that we had not proven the charge of rape beyond a reasonable doubt.


      Frankly, phrased that way, I would have reluctantly agreed.  Based on only what I’ve read, I think the defendant was guilty of rape of a non-consenting (too drunk to consent) woman.  But I couldn’t get past reasonable doubt and couldn’t have voted to convict.

      But Buck had to buck it up and say

    A jury could very well conclude that this is a case of buyer’s remorse.

      Prosecutors have a term: “Felony Stupid.”

    I think we could convict Buck of that offense in this case.

    • State Line says:

      He’s scum. Doesn’t mean he won’t be elected to the Senate over Bennet, who is, well, not exactly inspiring.

      Thanks for the reasoned post V: just ‘cuz a guy’s a scumbag doesn’t necessarily mean he was wrong to not proceed to trial in this instance……the law is rarely black & white, eh?

      • VoyageurVoyageur says:

        Too often, prosecutors and defense attorneys alike view the law as a game.  But the best prosecutors know that “The people win when justice is done.”

          And that sometimes means letting an unwinnable case go unfiled because you don’t feel you can meet the burden of proof.  It isn’t pretty, but it’s the best the law can do.

  16. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    It’s interesting being off the blog all day long and hitting it after all the comments (181!). So…

    1. Could people stop responding to BJ? Remember why you should never argue with a mule – it accomplishes nothing and annoys the mule. Anyways, as soon as I saw a comment by BJ I skipped all of that part.

    2. Some of the best advice I have ever gotten from my attorneys is to not file a lawsuit. And they tended to get very in my face about it, I assume to break through my thinking about wanting closure rather than thinking about is it worth it.

    3. This was a horrible way Buck handled it with this woman. Absolutely horrible. There’s the best course as a lawyer and there’s the best course as a compassionate human being. He showed no compassion.

    4. Should he have prosecuted? Seems to be in the grey area. But I think if there’s an outside chance, and the victim wants to prosecute knowing what she’s in for, then you should do it. You’ll win some and at a minimum you’ll scare the ever-loving crap out of the rapist as he’s going to spend over a year worried he might be going to prison for a long time.

    Will this matter? By itself I think its impact will be minimal because Buck’s already lost voters on women’s issues. And many will view it as poor judgement, but that everyone occasionally does stupid shit.

    But if there’s more? Then it becomes a trend and that would be very damaging.

  17. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    The Denver Past is still taking advice from the Buck campaign on the dos and don’ts of how “responsible media” behave.  

  18. sxp151 says:

    A lot of Buck’s defense depends on Lacy’s office (then-DA for Boulder County) backing his decision, and the Colorado Independent says they still have two more stories. It seems pretty easy to ask the Boulder County DA’s office whether they expressed an opinion on the case.

    • ThillyWabbit says:

      Mary Lacy was banished from Boulder IIRC over her mishandling of the JonBenet Ramsey case, among others.

      • sxp151 says:

        It’s the official Buck response, so one would think it’s easy to check whether it actually happened. It really hurts Buck’s credibility (to the extent he has any) if the Boulder DA contradicts his claim. As it is right now, it feels like McInnis blaming his plagiarism on Rolly Fischer.

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