A Republican member of the Idaho legislature has agreed to resign this week over his 1974 guilty plea in a rape case.
Members of the Republican precinct committee in Idaho’s District 15 unanimously voted to call for Rep. Mark Patterson (R-Boise) to step down on Tuesday. They said they had “no confidence” in Patterson’s ability to represent the district.
“I do agree with the motion that was passed in regards to the fact that, in this current climate I can see where a lack of confidence to serve would be in question,” Patterson wrote in statement, according to the Associated Press. “The citizens of District 15 and Idaho need lawmakers who have their full ability to represent the people.”
The 1974 rape case was revealed in November by the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, who said Patterson was ineligible for a concealed weapon permit because he pleaded guilty to intent to commit rape nearly 40 years ago.
But Patterson has been allowed to keep his permit because state lawmakers exempted themselves from the law.
In May of 1974, a 46-year-old woman in Tampa accused then 21-year-old Patterson of raping her twice. She said he had threatened to have his Doberman pinscher attack her if she refused to have sex with him.
The Republican lawmaker has insisted he was falsely accused of rape and described the situation as a “bizarre encounter with a woman.” He said he accepted a plea deal because his attorney advised him to and he thought it would be expunged from his record.