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…