Questions Raised About Ken Buck’s Record Prosecuting Rape Cases in Colorado

October 11, 2010 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

Five years ago, Colorado’s GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck refused to prosecute a rape case while acting as Weld County District Attorney, reports our sister site the Colorado Independent, and with three weeks before the election, all the lurid details are getting dredged up once again:

The alleged assault occurred five years ago. A man entered the alleged victim’s apartment and had sex with her while she was drunk, she says. As she passed in and out of consciousness, she says she told him “no” and tried to push him away. If he had been a stranger, the case may have played out differently, but he was a former lover, and she had invited him over.

Those circumstances seem to have made all the difference to Buck. [...]

He said the facts in the case didn’t warrant prosecution. “A jury could very well conclude that this is a case of buyer’s remorse,” he told the Greeley Tribune in March 2006. He went on to publicly call the facts in the case “pitiful.”

If he had handled it with a little more sensitivity, the victim, who does not want her name used, says it is possible she may have accepted the decision and moved on. But Buck’s words — as much as his refusal to prosecute — still burn in her ears.

“That comment made me feel horrible,” she told the Colorado Independent last week. “The offender admitted he did it, but Ken Buck said I was to blame. Had he (Buck) not attacked me, I might have let it go. But he put the blame on me, and I was furious. I still am furious,” she said.

Buck is leading by a small margin in his race against Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), but his support is already seriously lagging among female voters on account of his views on abortion and birth control, not to mention various additional off-color remarks:

Buck’s problems connecting with women voters in the Senate race likely began with his support for Amendment 62, the Personhood Amendment, which would make even some common forms of birth control illegal. He also said people should vote for him in the primary instead of former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton because he doesn’t wear high heels.

The latest news about Buck’s record prosecuting rape cases as district attorney has the potential to sink his support among women (and men, for that matter) still further.