[COMMENTARY] Cheney Challenger Reframes Past Statutory Rape: ‘Like Romeo and Juliet’
Wyoming State Senator Anthony Bouchard is challenging Rep. Liz Cheney for her House seat, but it’s unlikely he’ll be following through on that challenge after publicly acknowledging in an interview with a local newspaper that he impregnated a 14-year-old girl when he was 18.
Bouchard first revealed the relationship in a Facebook Live video on Thursday, though he did not say exactly how old he or the girl was when the pregnancy happened. In that video, he said he wanted to come out with the story himself after learning that people had been looking into the matter. In typical Republican fashion, Bouchard tried to rewrite the history of the incident by comparing himself and the girl to the most famous pair of teenaged star-crossed lovers in literary history.
Bouchard told the Star-Tribune he married the girl when she was 15 and he was 19. At the time, they were both living in Florida, where they were legally able to get married. The law stated that people could marry at any age with a judge’s approval if a pregnancy was involved and a parent consented. They got divorced approximately three years later, and the girl died by suicide at age 20. He’s had plenty of time to tell himself the story he then told publicly.
The entire story set off a social media explosion, but it was Bouchard’s obtuse quote regarding the tale of woe of Juliet and her Romeo that didn’t go over well with Twitter at ALL.
“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,” Bouchard said. “You’ve heard those stories before. She was a little younger than me, so it’s like the Romeo and Juliet story.”
Twitter had plenty of time to help Bouchard brush up on his Shakespeare, as well as the statutory rape laws and his political chances now that he’s been connected to Matt Gaetz for their similar actions.
— Tara Dublin Is Vaccinated (@taradublinrocks) May 21, 2021
Bouchard deliberately crafted his story to paint it as a romantic tale instead of the crime of statutory rape it should have been treated as.
No. Sex between an 18 and a 14 year old is statutory rape. I know because I prosecuted it.
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. #RapeIsRape Also – #EndChildMarriage! https://t.co/7E0vD7zYdf
— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) May 21, 2021
“A lot of pressure. Pressure to abort a baby. I got to tell you. I wasn’t going to do it, and neither was she,” he said. “And there was pressure to have her banished from their family. Just pressure. Pressure to go hide somewhere. And the only thing I could see as the right thing to do was to get married and take care of him (the baby).”
I'm confused about why I'm not seeing the phrase "statutory rape" in every tweet about this. Is the age of consent 14 in Wyoming or what? In every state I've practiced law in this would be statutory rape—and not even the amended version where the parties are 2 years apart in age. https://t.co/2xb72tcut7
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) May 21, 2021
Bouchard said that he decided to open up about the pregnancy and marriage after he found out that a political opposition research firm had begun looking into the matter. He also said he been contacted by a “U.K. media reporter” whom he accused of working with the opposition research company.
Bouchard, who is a full-on MAGA, then took it too far with the Shakespearean comparison.
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
US House candidate Anthony Bouchard tells Casper Star-Tribune he had a relationship with and impregnated a 14-year old girl when he was 18, saying 'it's like the Romeo and Juliet story.'
No, it's statutory rape.
This is the best the GOP could come up with to oppose Liz Cheney. https://t.co/pe7LoE7Uem
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) May 21, 2021
“You know, this thing ended in kind of a bitter divorce. All the odds were against us,” he said. “We later became friends. She had problems in another relationship. Her dad had committed suicide. … For whatever reason she decided to do the same.”
It’s appalling to see how republicans are confident enough to confess to statutory rape because they know they won't be punished by their party or their base.
— KTYGraphics cartoonist🇺🇸✍🏻 (@CathyGraphics2) May 21, 2021
Should you care to watch Bouchard digging his own hole deeper by the minute, the video is available here.