Rep. Mark Patterson, a Boise Republican, did jail time and pleaded guilty to a rape-related charge. A few years later he was acquitted of rape at trial in another city. Here is what he has to say about it, as reported in the Idaho Statesman:
Patterson said his constituents don’t have any interest in knowing he’s twice been charged with rape and once pleaded guilty to assault with intent to commit the offense.
“I’ve never been convicted of a crime, so there’s nothing to know,” he said.
Americans generally share the belief that a person deserves a second chance when he or she pays for their crimes. But, we also demand honesty so we can decide for ourselves. Patterson clearly denied his voters the whole truth of who he is.
That said, voters elevated Patterson to the role of lawmaker based on little more than the R behind his name. Certainly, he gave voters little reason other than that to elect him in 2012.
Patterson refused to meet his strong Idaho Democratic opponent, Steve Berch, for public debates or engage with the public. Some may recall that Idaho Chooses Life, a single-issue group that advocates against a woman’s right to make medical decisions related to pregnancy, sent out vicious attack literature against both Berch and Betty Richardson in this campaign.
Such Tea Party leaders as Rep. Lawerence Denney (now running for Secretary of State), U.S. Rep Raul Labrador and other Republican high officials endorsed Patterson. Would they have endorsed him had they known of his criminal history? No. But they endorsed him without knowing much about him at all.
What people did know was that he said Idaho doesn’t need quality education because businesses can just recruit educated workers from out of state. They knew that he used national politics to run for a state election. They knew he backs the silliest parts of the Idaho GOP platform such as repealing the 17th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and returning to the gold standard.
And they knew he was a Republican.
Below is part of the Statesman story on Patterson. It is troubling from any objective point of view, right down to his peers brushing off his criminal history to claim political payback; to Patterson’s claim that he has no recollection of his crimes against women. (To read the entire article visit the Idaho Statesman)
Idaho lawmaker Mark Patterson could lose weapons license over old Florida guilty plea
Mark Patterson says ‘the cops lied’ in a rape case in 1974 that led to a withheld judgment in Florida. Now, he says, Sheriff Raney seeks to ‘silence’ him.
Rep. Mark Patterson won his first term in 2012 with endorsements from GOP Rep. Raul Labrador, former House Speaker Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale, and House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star.
Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney says Rep. Mark Patterson falsified his application for a concealed weapons license when he failed to disclose his guilty plea to assault with intent to commit rape in Tampa.
Patterson, then 21, was charged with forcible rape in May 1974. The victim, then a 46-year-old mother of five, told police that Patterson forced her to have sex twice and threatened to have his Doberman pinscher attack her if she refused, according to police reports.
In July 1974, after some jail time, Patterson agreed to plead guilty to the lesser assault with intent charge, receiving a withheld judgment and five years’ probation. He was ordered to leave Florida with his father on the day of his sentencing. Two years later, he was released from his probation, three years early.
“I was a young kid,” the freshman Republican from Boise told the Statesman. “I was charged with a crime I didn’t do. My attorney told me to take the deal. There would be no jail time, it would be off my record.”
In both 2007 and 2012, Patterson successfully applied for a concealed weapons license in Ada County. But earlier this year, Raney told the Statesman, the sheriff’s office got a tip that Patterson had lied to receive those licenses.
“They were aware of this charge in his history and therefore knew that in order to obtain one he must have falsified his application,” Raney said. “We did our due diligence, and from that a hearing was ultimately held and his concealed weapons permit was revoked.”