US Politics

Paul Ryan ditches US lawmaker Roger Rivard over comments on 'easy rape'

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 October, 2012, 4:39am

A lawmaker in the US state of Wisconsin is under fire for repeatedly relaying his father's advice that "some girls, they rape so easy".

The controversial comments led Republican vice-presidential hopeful Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, to withdraw his endorsement of Roger Rivard before his debate with Vice-President Joe Biden.

It was the second time that Ryan has withdrawn an endorsement from a fellow Republican due to offensive rape comments. Missouri congressman Todd Akin drew widespread condemnation for declaring in August that a woman's body can prevent conception in cases of "legitimate rape" as he tried to explain his opposition to abortion.

Rivard, 60, first made the statement when discussing the case of a high-school student who had been charged for having sex with an under-age girl. The Chetek Alert newspaper quoted him in December as saying his father had warned him that "some girls rape easy".

He repeated the comments in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Wednesday, saying he took his father's warnings about the dangers of premarital sex seriously.

"He also told me one thing, 'If you do [have premarital sex], just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry,'" Rivard told the newspaper.

"Because all of a sudden, a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen, and … All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she's under age. And [my father] just said, 'Remember Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,' he said, 'they rape so easy.'"

Rivard later sent a statement to the Sentinel in which he acknowledged that "rape is a horrible act of violence".