Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty thinks he has a shot at the 2012 Republican nomination for president. What was going to be a long-shot bid is now even more of a long shot.
Jeremy Giefer served time in jail in 1994 for having sex with a 14-year-old girl. But you wouldn't know it to look at the record [...]
That's because two years ago, Governor Tim Pawlenty, Attorney General Lori Swanson, and then-Chief Justice Eric Magnuson unanimously voted to wipe Giefer's record clean, granting him a pardon extraordinary.
One reason Giefer wanted his record cleared? His wife wanted to open a childcare center in the house where they live.
Giefer didn't just have sex with that 14-year-old girl, but knocked her up. They ended up getting married, and his former victim/wife is the person wanting to open up that childcare facility. Pawlenty and the rest of the pardon board based their pardon on the bizarre notion that statutory rape was okay if the man sticks around and marries the victim.
That looks terrible enough for a candidate who likes to fashion himself as tough on crime and sexual offenders. But this story gets worse. Much, much worse.
Flash forward to this month, when Giefer was charged with another sex crime, this time for allegedly molesting the daughter he conceived with the underage girl he statutory raped and married.
In fact, the complaint alleges, Giefer had been raping his daughter for about six years when Pawlenty granted him his extraordinary pardon.
According to the complaint filed in Blue Earth County Court, the girl, identified only as C.G., told Blue Earth detectives the sexual abuse started when she was nine years old.
"C.G. stated that when she was 13 years old, she wanted to go somewhere; and her dad would tell her to do a sexual favor consisting of a blow job or intercourse and then she would be allowed to go."
Geifer's daughter went into explicit detail with the detectives, painting a vivid picture of routine abuse.
You can follow the link above for more of those graphic details. They are utterly revolting. As for Giefer, initial denials have evolved into prevarications.
Yes, Giefer told a detective, he had put his daughter on birth control pills. Yes, he had grabbed her breasts, but "it was just messing around." Yes, he had exposed his penis to her, but it was "accidental." And yes, while on top of his daughter in her bed while "wrestling," he had kissed her neck and stuck his hand inside her shorts and touched her bare vagina.
Pawlenty's team put out this statement:
"The Governor has consistently opposed pardons for sex offenders and believes sex offenses are heinous. However, the Board made an exception in this case and voted unanimously to pardon this 1994 conviction because it involved sexual conduct between two people who became husband and wife, maintained a long-term marriage, had a family together, and because the defendant completed his sentence many years before seeking the pardon which his wife and others supported."
Good luck with that bullshit. What's more likely is that Pawlenty now has his very own Willie Horton hanging around his neck. And while it's true, Republicans operate under a different standard than Democrats like Mike Dukakis, we're talking about a sexual predator -- one who wasn't just pardoned because of some bizarre rationalization about marrying his victim, but one who was pardoned so that his wife could open up a childcare facility in the man's own home.
There is no justification for that pardon. None.