Jeremy Giefer served 45 days in prison in 1994 after being convicted of statutory rape. However, because he married the then-14-year-old girl and stuck around to father the child they conceived together, he begged the state for an extraordinary pardon, which would no longer require Giefer to report himself as a sex offender.
The board — which includes the Minnesota attorney general, the chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, and the governor (Pawlenty, at the time) — voted unanimously to pardon Giefer.
The damning details came in November 2010, when Giefer was again arrested on counts of sex with an underage girl — this time with the daughter he had conceived with Susan before his first rape charge. According to the complaint his daughter, identified in court documents as C.G., filed, Griefer would often make her have sex with him or perform oral sex on him as a favor before he would give her permission to do things, and that he put her on birth control when she was 15 years old so that she wouldn’t get pregnant when he raped her without a condom. The abuse started when she was 9 years old.
Pawlenty soon proposed cracking down harder on sex offenders, and said he would never have granted Griefer pardon if he had known he was molesting his daughter.
Another campaign staffer, campaign manager Nick Ayers, brings a boozy whiff of controversy as well: It’s widely known that he was arrested for drunk driving in 2006.
Running a presidential campaign ensures that skeletons will come tumbling out of closets left and right, but it’s too early to say which past missteps may ultimately prove damning for candidates.
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.