UPDATE: as seen on MSNBC this evening:
UPDATE #2: We’ve been told by competent attorneys, including attorneys with prosecutorial experience, that the recording transcribed below might well have been admissible under Colorado law. This needs to be followed up on urgently by the press–was Buck the one who represented this evidence as inadmissible? Much discussion on this topic in comments below.
Today’s update on the developing story 2005 rape case in Weld County that Ken Buck refused to prosecute, from the Colorado Independent’s Scot Kersgaard–with national news outlets jumping on this story right and left, and especially after you read this latest update, the unfolding disaster it represents for Buck’s campaign is very close to undeniable.
While Buck claims the case was so flawed as to have been impossible to prosecute, the fact is the suspect virtually confessed [Pols emphasis], according to a police transcript (below) of a phone call between the victim and suspect.
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…
Victim: “You do realize that … it’s rape.”
Suspect: “Yeah, I do.” [Pols emphasis]
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.”
As Kersgaard notes, this wasn’t actually admissible evidence, as it was recorded without the knowledge of both parties. But at this point, it’s not about whether or not the case could be reopened–it’s about Buck’s presumptions, the way he dismissed her allegations both privately and in the press. It’s about whether or not an admission of guilt, admissible or not, was enough to provoke Buck’s due diligence: and for reasons not satisfactorily explained, the answer seems to be “no.”
BUCK: 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. [Pols emphasis]
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.”
Our readers very quickly picked up on this exchange as well in comments yesterday.
As Jed Lewison at Kos points out, the only person who had asserted the victim had an abortion was the alleged perpetrator–and as you can plainly read above, Buck doesn’t question his story. Only that of the victim. What’s more, as Lewison asks, why would an abortion–the choice of the victim–become a motivation for a “revenge” allegation from her later? And what about Buck’s choice of words to describe this supposed motive, “you have had HIS baby and you had an abortion?”
How is this not what it plainly appears to be, folks?