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Rural Idaho Sheriff Says Most Rape Claims Are Really Consensual Sex


Rural Idaho Sheriff Says Most Rape Claims Are Really Consensual Sex Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland says most rapes in his rural Idaho jurisdiction are 'consensual sex.' (YouTube)

A rural Idaho sheriff has declared that most of the rape accusations in his jurisdiction are false.

The statement, unsurprisingly, generated a tremendous backlash.

At issue is a state proposal that would force all local agencies to test every rape kit. The DNA in collected blood, saliva or semen could then be run through a national database to help identify the attacker. 

Read:  Pregnant Through Rape, Women Are Forced to Share Child Custody With Their Attackers

But Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland said it should be up to him and other officials to decide if, and when, to test the kits. 

“Because the majority of our rapes, not to say that we don't have rapes, we do, but the majority of our rapes that are called in, are actually consensual sex," he told KDIK-TV earlier this week.

It didn’t take long for the outcry to start.

“Many times people are focused on a woman’s behavior and the victim’s response,” said state Rep. Melissa Wintrow, a Democrat, according to The Associated Press.

“We should be thinking about what are we teaching young men in this society – what are teaching young boys and men about how we should not initiate, or cross, any physical boundary without consent.”

Read: Alabama State Trooper Accused of On-Duty Rape Gets 6 Months Behind Bars in Plea Deal

The bill Rowland opposed requires medical clinics to collect forensic evidence from a suspected sexual attack, place it in a rape kit, and send that package for DNA testing. If the victim objects, that requirement can be overruled. Law enforcement agencies may also get approvals from prosecutors to not have testing done.

The measure unanimously passed the state Legislature Tuesday and was sent to the governor’s desk. 

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