According to a Monday story in the Washington Free Beacon, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has commented on the 1975 case when she served as a court appointed attorney in defense of a 41 year old child rapist. The original story, based on an interview recorded in the 1980s, touched off a firestorm. Clinton laughed about the case in which she managed to get the defendant off with time served, mentioning that part of her defense was to impeach the 12 year old victim’s character. Clinton, in the recording, implied that she knew that the defendent was guilty.
Clinton’s new version of the story is somewhat at odds with the 1980s version. Instead of expressing amusement about the case, Clinton offered a clinical, legalistic view of her efforts to defend the child rapist. She suggested that she was a reluctant participant and that she had unsuccessfully petitioned the court to have her taken off the case.
The victim, now in her 50s, has accused Clinton of lying about her in court documents. Clinton suggested that the victim was someone who sought out older men and was emotionally unstable. Clinton was eventually able to get her client off for time served because law enforcement had mishandled evidence.
The victim still suffers psychological and physical trauma as a result of her rape. She was rendered incapable of having children. She has accused Clinton of having taking her “through hell” as a result of the case.
The almost 40 year old rape case complicates any desire Clinton has to become president of the United States. Part of the Democratic strategy for 2016, as in 2012, will be to accuse Republicans of conducting a “war against women.” The idea that the front runner for the Democratic nomination for president conducted her own war against a 12 year old rape victim would seem to run against that narrative.