Republican Senator Anthony Bouchard, a Wyoming representative trying to unseat Congresswoman Liz Cheney next year, revealed he impregnated a 14-year-old girl when he was 18, describing the relationship as “like the Romeo and Juliet story” in a description that drew a rebuke from a sexual assault prevention group.
Bouchard vowed not to drop out of the race and blamed “dirty politics” for bringing the story to light.
Bouchard, 55, initially disclosed what he described as a typical teenage relationship in a Facebook Live video to supporters on Thursday. He later confirmed the girl’s age to the Casper Star-Tribune.
“It’s a story when I was young, two teenagers, girl gets pregnant,” he said in the video. “You’ve heard those stories before. She was a little younger than me, so it’s like the Romeo and Juliet story.”
Bouchard married the girl when she was 15 and he was 19, when both were living in Florida. They divorced three years later, he told the newspaper.
She killed herself when she was 20, Bouchard said.
Online records list a woman with her name as being buried at a Jacksonville cemetery in 1990. The newspaper chose not to identify the woman.
Bouchard, a gun rights activist who co-owns a septic system servicing business with his wife, did not immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press seeking comment.
Framing the story as “Romeo and Juliet” is wrong and dangerous, said Kristen Schwartz, executive director for the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
“Laws exist to protect young people involved in these situations,” Schwartz said.