Liz Cheney challenger sets off debate after revealing he impregnated 14-year-old when he was 18: ‘It was like Romeo and Juliet’
Wyoming State Senator Anthony Bouchard found himself at the center of controversy after admitting to having a relationship with, and impregnating, a 14-year-old girl when he was 18.
In a Thursday Facebook Live video, Bouchard complained that his critics were digging into his past to smear his reputation and would “stop at nothing” as he prepares to challenge Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) for her House seat.
“It’s amazing that they look at things so negatively. So, bottom line is it’s a story when I was young, two teenagers, girl gets pregnant,” he said. “You’ve heard those stories before. She was a little younger than me, so it’s like the Romeo and Juliet story.”
Investigators have been hounding my family for weeks and now the liberal fake news is coming out with a hit piece about my teenage years. This is why good people avoid running for office. I won't back down, Swamp! @RepLizCheney Bring it! https://t.co/gaVSm6MkZM— 🇺🇸Anthony Bouchard for Congress Against Cheney (@AnthonyBouchard) May 21, 2021
In an interview with the Casper Star-Tribune, Bouchard said he married this impregnated girl, who would have been 15 at the time, in Florida. Bouchard would have been 19, and the marriage was technically legal in the state with a parent’s consent and a judge’s approval if a pregnancy was involved.
“I did the right thing,” he said, referring to his decision to marry the girl and “to take care” of his son.Also on rt.com Republicans replace Trump critic Liz Cheney with ex-president’s supporter Elise Stefanik as party’s conference chair
Unlike the tragic ending to ‘Romeo & Juliet,’ where the two youthful lovers die by suicide, Bouchard’s wife divorced him three years later. She did, however, go on to commit suicide by 20, which the state senator chalked up to “problems in another relationship,” while also mentioning that the girl’s dad also took his own life.
“She had problems in another relationship. Her dad had committed suicide,” he said.
Bouchard’s story and ‘Romeo & Juliet’ comparison has earned the ire of many critics online, some of whom slammed the relationship as illegal and possible statutory rape.
“Sex between an 18 and a 14 year old is statutory rape. I know because I prosecuted it,” tweeted Christine Pelosi, the daughter of the US house speaker. “14 was not the age of consent in Florida and although there are Romeo and Juliet laws, they are for teens ‘close in age’ which this couple was NOT.”
You raped a 14 year old, got her pregnant, married and divorced her by the time she was 17, and she killed herself.That you seriously think this isn't a reason for you to go back into the hole from which you emerged just confirms the nature of your character. https://t.co/7NahTTW4mG— Elizabeth C. McLaughlin (she/her) (@ECMcLaughlin) May 21, 2021
Raped a 14-year-old, impregnating her.Married her when she was 15 (Florida law allowed it back then)Divorced her when she was 18.She committed suicide at 20.Tired of being this disgusted with conservatives.https://t.co/AaHAf5ibPZ— Daryle Lamont Jenkins (@DLamontJenkins) May 21, 2021
This is not quite the ending in Romeo and Juliet. By half. pic.twitter.com/9RpaoExQoR— Suzan Scott (@NewsJunkieBlu) May 21, 2021
Kristen Schwartz, executive director for the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, also criticized Bouchard for the relationship and the classic literature framing.
“Any language that would minimize things that are a crime is harmful. It’s harmful to survivors and it’s harmful to our greater community,” she said.
Others have sought to defend Bouchard, noting that it was far more common for brides to be underage at the time.
Despite the backlash, Bouchard has said he has no intention of bowing out of his race against Cheney, claiming the fact that detractors are looking to discredit him makes him the leading challenger.
“Bring it on. I’m going to stay in this race,” he said. “We’re going to continue to raise money because my record stands on its own.”Also on rt.com Associate of Matt Gaetz goes down for sex crimes amid calls for Republican congressman to be next
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!