Dem Lawmaker: Rape Is Sometimes ‘Just Drunken College Sex’

AP

At a New Mexico House Judiciary Committee hearing last week state Rep. Ken Martinez (D) said “rape is defined in many ways and some of it is just drunken college sex.”

Republicans are hammering the state lawmaker over his comments, while Martinez is denying that his remarks were dismissive of the seriousness of rape.

At the hearing Wednesday Martinez, the former state House Speaker, said “rape is defined in many ways and some of it is just drunken college sex.” His remarks were concerning a bill that would remove parental rights for rapists, according to The Santa Fe New Mexican.

Republicans have aggressively criticized Martinez for the comments, with Rep. Kelly Fajardo calling for an apology.

“It is simply inexcusable that Rep. Kenny Martinez dismissed a serious crime as nothing more than a night of ‘drunken college sex,'” Farjado said in a statement. “His comments are belittling to anyone who has ever been a victim and survivor of sexual abuse, and I hope that he will apologize.”

On Monday, Martinez held a press conference in which he stood with a pair of advocates of rape victims, refused to apologize and accused his critics of politicizing his comments.

“This ‘gotcha’ politics on such an important issue is absolutely a shame,” Martinez said, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

Martinez also said that Republicans who criticized him for saying that rape can be “just drunken sex” left out that he said the phrase “without the ability to consent,” according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

The lawmaker cannot be heard saying “without the ability to consent” in footage of the hearing, however (it starts at the 54:00 mark).

Sheila Lewis, who runs Santa Fe Safe, an advocacy group for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, defended Martinez.

“I’ve known Rep. Martinez for 30 years, and I’ve been an advocate for women’s rights and domestic violence and sexual assault,” Lewis, who was not present at the hearing where Martinez made the remarks, said according to the New Mexican. “We have no greater champion. I have no doubt in my mind that what he said was in support of women. That has been his role all the way through and I trust that will continue to be his role.”

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