MADISON (WKOW) -- A Republican state representative says his comment that "some girls rape easy" has been taken out of context.
In December, Rep. Roger Rivard (R-Rice Lake) told the Chetek Alert newspaper, that his father once told him, as a warning, that a woman could agree to sex, but then later claim it wasn't consensual.
Rep. Rivard made the comments when he was discussing a sexual assault case involving a 17-year-old high school senior charged for having sex with an underage girl in the school's band room.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel newspaper reported on those comments Wednesday, allowing Rep. Rivard to put them in context.
Rep. Rivard told the Journal-Sentinel: "What the whole genesis of it was, it was advice to me, telling me, 'If you're going to go down that road, you may have consensual sex that night and then the next morning it may be rape.' So the way he said it was, 'Just remember, Roger, some girls, they rape so easy. It may be rape the next morning.'"
Both Congressman/Vice-President Nominee Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) and Governor Scott Walker withdrew their endorsements of Rep. Rivard by early Thursday afternoon, but Rep. Robin Vos (R-Burlington) had not.
Rep. Vos answered questions about the comments at a WisPolitics luncheon in Madison, saying Rep. Rivard did not do as good a job as he could have in that interview, but that he knows where Rivard's heart is on the issue.
"I have no doubt whatsoever that when people look at Roger's entire record, not a single sentence, that they will return him to Madison because he has been doing the things that they want here at the Capitol," said Rep. Vos.
Rep. Vos later clarified his position in statement sent to 27 News later Thursday afternoon, stating that he was withdrawing his support.
"I cannot stand behind Roger Rivard," the statement reads. "Rape is a horrible, violent act. His comments are unacceptable and embarrassing. Assembly Republicans have always fought to protect those who can't protect themselves. Any person who has ever been a victim of a violent crime is offended by these comments and has every right to be. This race has never been about endorsements from one politician or another; this race will be decided by the people of the 75th district."
Rep. Peter Barca (D-Kenosha), the Assembly Minority Leader, calls Rep. Rivard's comments "outrageous" and says they are the result of the "war on women" environment that Republican legislators have created in Wisconsin.
Rep. Rivard is facing Democrat Stephen Smith, a Rice Lake small business owner, in the 75th Assembly District race.
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