GOP presidential candidate pardoned child molester, cleared record

: Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty announces that he is running for U.S. President at the State Historical Building May 23, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa (AFP Photo / Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty pardoned a known child molester in 2008, who later was arrested for molesting his own daughter over 250 times in an eight year span – including incidents which took place prior to the pardon.

It was revealed by a report in the Minneapolis City Pages that Pawlenty, as Minnesota Governor, pardoned Jeremy Giefer who served only 45 days in prison in 1994 for a conviction of statutory rape.

Giefer then married the then-14-year-old girl who he got pregnant during the rape. Since he felt he did the right thing marrying the girl and caring for the child, he pleaded with the state for a pardon and to be removed from the state’s sex offender registry.

The review board in Minnesota responsible for making such decisions unanimously agreed to Giefer’s request. The board was made up of the Minnesota attorney general, the chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and Pawlenty.

Following the 2008 pardon Giefer was arrested in November of 2010 on several counts of sex with an underage girl. This time the girl was his own daughter which he had conceived with his wife whom he was originally convicted of statutorily raping.

According to court documents Giefer often required his daughter have sex with him or perform oral sex before he would give her permission to do things she liked. It was also revealed that he later put her on birth control at the age of 15 to prevent her from getting pregnant. The sexual abuse started when she was only 9 years old.

Following the arrest Pawlenty called for a tougher on sex offenders and insisted he would never have issued the pardon had he known Giefer was molesting him daughter. However, the damage has been done.

Pawlenty presidential campaign is facing a backlash of drama over the report. This s not the first legal scuffle the campaign has endured however. A Pawlenty staffer was arrested in Iowa after he arrived at a home intoxicated, vomiting in the yard. He was arrested for trespassing and public intoxication. In 2006, Nick Ayers, another campaign staffer was arrested for drunk driving.