An Idaho sheriff who criticized the state legislature for creating a statewide system for tracking rape kits while saying most rapes were consensual, has apologized on the sheriff’s department Facebook, the Idaho Statesman reports.
Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland received national attention when he told a local reporter that it wasn’t necessary for medical clinics to use rape kits to collect forensic evidence after a suspected sexual assault According to Rowland, that determination should be left to law enforcement officers.
Rowland added, “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.”
Faced with a storm of criticism, Rowland apologized on Facebook, while adding that he and his family had been threatened.
“I want to explain what I was trying to say in the interview. I misspoke when I said the majority of our rape cases are consensual sex,” he wrote. “The meaning behind my statement that has been misunderstood is that when a case is called into the dispatch center each and every one is thoroughly investigated. A Deputy is sent to every one of these cases and that Deputy then in turn contacts the on-call detective to help with the investigation. In some of these cases through the investigation it may be determined that the sex was consensual, but not always. In these types of cases after the investigation is complete and it was determined that the sex was consensual. I don’t believe that those kits should be sent to the lab.”
Rowland stated that the time allowed him in the interview made it difficult to fully explain get into the details.
He then apologized and said that since the story went viral, he now knows “what it is like to be cyber-bullied.”
“I know that it is hard for victims to come forward on sexual assault cases. I spoke to a rape victim today and told her that I knew it was hard for her to come forward. I want to apologize to anyone who I might have offended with my statement as my main responsibility is to the public’s safety and well being and maintaining their trust.,” he wrote. “I can also say with regret that I now know what it is like to be cyber bullied. Not only have I been threatened but so has my family. I hope that this will clear things up a bit.”