Emails reveal Tony Perkins knew GOP lawmaker sexually assaulted teen — but kept it quiet
According to a report from the Washington Post, the head of the evangelical Family Research Council was alerted that a Ohio lawmaker sexually assaulted a teen in a hotel room over two years ago and never made the information public.
The report states that the Post obtained internal emails showing that Tony Perkins, in his capacity as the president of the Council for National Policy, was made aware that 31-year-old Wesley Goodman had fondled an 18-year-old college student following an event at the Ritz Carlton in Washington D.C.
Goodman, a Christian “family values” Republican lawmaker stepped down from his post under pressure two days ago after it was revealed that he had engaged in a same-sex tryst in his Ohio office.
According to the report, following the hotel incident two years ago, Perkins was told what had happened by the teen’s stepfather, who wrote to the family values advocate, stating, “If we endorse these types of individuals, then it would seem our whole weekend together was nothing more than a charade.”
In response, Perkins wrote back, ““Trust me . . . this will not be ignored nor swept aside…It will be dealt with swiftly, but with prudence.”
Writing to Goodman in 2015, Perkins told the young lawmaker, “Going forward so soon, without some distance from your past behavior and a track record of recovery, carries great risk for you and for those who are supporting you,”
The report states that Perkins privately asked Goodman to drop out of the race and suspended him from the council, however Goodman continued on with his campaign and was elected in 2016, without Perkins ever going public about what he had learned.
According to emails acquired by the Post, Perkins did inform board members of the tax-exempt 501(c)3 group founded in the early 1980s, but otherwise kept it a secret which has angered one conservative group in Ohio.
“We are so sick of people knowing and doing nothing. If someone knew, they had an obligation to say something. That’s what you do. That’s how you hold society together,” explained Thomas R. Zawistowski, president of Ohio Citizens PAC, which endorsed Goodman.
The Washington Post has reported that Perkins has not responded to requests for a comment.
You can read the whole report here.