It looks like TIm Pawlenty may not be as squeaky clean as he'd have you think.
Jeremy Giefer served time in jail in 1994 for having sex with a 14-year-old girl. But you wouldn't know it to look at the record of the man now charged with sexually molesting his daughter more than 250 times over the last eight years.
That's because two years ago, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Attorney General Lori Swanson, and then-Chief Justice Eric Magnuson unanimously voted to wipe Giefer's record clean, granting him a pardon extraordinary.
One reason Giefer wanted his record cleared? His wife wanted to open a childcare center in the house where they live--the same house where Giefer allegedly molested his young daughter throughout the six years prior.
Giefer appears to be one creepy individual. Maybe Pawlenty will go all Gingrich on the story and say that when he pardoned Giefer, he didn't actually mean to pardon Giefer? And if you quote him saying he pardoned Giefer, that would be a lit.
Here's more details from an article in 2010:
When Jeremy Geifer was charged with 11 counts of sexual misconduct November 18th, Tim Pawlenty might have envisioned his presidential ambitions going up in smoke.
Just over three years ago, the Minnesota governor granted Giefer a pardon extraordinary, voting with the two other members of the Board of Pardons to wipe clean his previous criminal sexual record.
In 1993, Giefer, then 19 years old, had fathered a daughter with his girlfriend, who was only 14 years old at the time of conception. He pleaded guilty to statutory rape, but claimed to the Star Tribune that he was being unfairly singled out for sticking around and supporting his girlfriend when other men would have bolted.
Giefer served 45 days in jail for the transgression, and 15 years later asked for a pardon extraordinary, the term for a pardon granted to someone who has already served the sentence for the crime they committed. With a pardon extraordinary, Giefer would no longer have to report his conviction, except in special circumstances.
Pawlenty and the board granted the Giefer's request, citing the fact that Giefer was still married to the woman he had statutorily raped, and was raising their children together.
It's an odd rationale--that statutory rape is more acceptable if you marry your victim--but Pawlenty bought it hook, line and sinker and pardoned the sex offender. Flash forward to this month, when Giefer was charged with another sex crime, this time for allegedly molesting the daughter he conceived with the underage girl he statutory raped and married.
This will definitely come back to bite him because Tim touted himself as being very tough on sex crimes:
As governor, Pawlenty positioned himself as especially tough on sex crimes, advocating for a doubling of sex-offender prison terms and presiding over a dramatic increase in incarcerated sex-offenders. A year ago, the governor was grandstanding over the question of whether jailed sex offenders should have televisions.
Asked for comment yesterday, Pawlenty spokesman Bruce Gordon emailed this statement to City Pages:
"The Governor has consistently opposed pardons for sex offenders and believes sex offenses are heinous. However, the Board made an exception in this case and voted unanimously to pardon this 1994 conviction because it involved sexual conduct between two people who became husband and wife, maintained a long-term marriage, had a family together, and because the defendant completed his sentence many years before seeking the pardon which his wife and others supported."
Does statutory rape mean nothing to these people? A 14-year-old girl is not considered an adult for a reason. What a GOP field this is shaping up to be for 2012.