Watch: West Virginia senator says child rape victims ‘romanticize’ their rapists and see them as a ‘boyfriend’
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A West Virginia Republican state senator is under fire after arguing on the Senate floor that children who have been raped "romanticize" their sexual abusers, saying the children are involved in "relationships" with their abusers, and see them as a "boyfriend."

State Senator Robert Karnes made his remarks during debate on a highly controversial abortion bill that passed 21-10, but failed to be reconciled with a House version, and does not currently appear to be moving forward.

"You know the dynamic in these relationships quite often is that the child has a very romanticized view of what's happening," Sen. Karnes said Friday, in the video below. "They think that this is their boyfriend."

He then asks Democratic state Senator Stephen Baldwin, the Minority Leader, "Would you agree with that?"

"I don't know what you're talking about sir," the Minority Leader, appearing to be disgusted, replied.

While West Virginia news outlets failed to report Sen. Karnes' remarks, video of his comments was circulated on social media by Democratic state Senator Joey Garcia. Sen. Karnes lashed out at Sen. Garcia, tweeting on Saturday, "I would expect better from little joey, but not a lot better. He does represent the party that protects groomers and pedophiles."

On Sunday Karnes again baselessly used the "groomer" attack:

"Like everything else about @TheDemocrats, even the outrage is fake. The amendment will make it easier for groomers to convince their victims to abort a child & hide the evidence. They will continue sexually abusing that child & likely others because dems protect them from justice."

The ACLU of West Virginia posted video of a protest and tweeted, "Senate President Craig Blair cleared the galleries as attendees expressed outrage over Sen. Robert Karnes insisting child sex abuse survivors view their abusers like a boyfriend. People aren’t going anywhere."

Watch Sen. Karnes' remarks below or at this link:

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