Sheriff Thinks Most Rape Accusations Are False So Not All Rape Kits Should Be Tested

An Idaho sheriff may have just set women back 100 years with his latest comment, Cosmopolitan reports. That's because, in response to the proposal of HB 328, a bill that would require the police and forensics departments of Idaho to complete rape kits for all alleged sexual assault victims and have them sent to a lab and processed within 90 days, Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland basically said "Pshh. Rape doesn't happen here."

While speaking to KIDK news station on Monday, Rowling basically claimed that there's no use for rape kits in his county because most of the alleged sexual assault victims are lying anyway.

"I really believe the Legislature needs to take a strong look at allowing law enforcement to do their job and not try to dictate what we need to do," he said. "They need to let us decide if we're going to send the kit and when we send the kits in. Because 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."

Rowland then went on to dig himself into an even bigger hole when he used a hypothetical situation regarding a teenage girl claiming she was raped because she's scared of her parents.

"It's a 17-year-old girl and she had consensual sex with her boyfriend but she didn't know how to tell her parents," he said, "or her parents are mad because she did have consensual sex—well you couldn't have said yes. You had to have been raped." 

Not surprisingly, the sheriff's offensive comments managed to piss off a lot of people, including Rep. Melissa Wintrow, a Democrat who introduced the bill. Wintrow claims that Rowland's remarks send the wrong message about rape in general.

"Many times people are focused on a woman's behavior, and the victim's response," she told the Associated Press, "when we should be thinking about what are we teaching men in this society. What are we teaching young boys and men about how we should not initiate or cross any physical boundary without consent?"

The sheriff later released a statement responding to the many calls he had received about his remarks during the broadcast. Rowling claims to have mispoke and that he did not meant to offend anyone, though the explanation doesn't elucidate much about his original comments.

"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," he wrote. "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. I now understand that I should have explained myself further so as to not cause this type of confusion."

HB 328 has passed in the House and is on its way to the Senate.