U.S. House of Representatives candidate Anthony Bouchard admitted to having sex with and impregnating a 14-year-old minor when he was 18 years old. The Republican state senator made the confession to the Casper Star-Tribune late on Thursday (May 20) after telling his supporters on Facebook that he had a romantic relationship with a girl “a little younger” than him when he was a teenager.
Bouchard said he wanted to get ahead of the story before his opposition did.
“So, bottom line, it’s a story when I was young. Two teenagers, girl gets pregnant. You’ve heard those stories before,” he said on Facebook Live. “She was a little younger than me, so it’s like the Romeo and Juliet story.”
Bouchard told the Star-Tribune that he and the girl got married when she turned 15 and he was 19. Their marriage was legal at the time in Florida, where they were both living, since state law allowed for underage teenagers to get married with a judge’s approval and parental consent if pregnancy was involved.
“A lot of pressure. Pressure to abort a baby. I got to tell you. I wasn’t going to do it and neither was she,” Bouchard continued in the video. “And there was pressure to have her banished from their family. Just pressure. Pressure to go hide somewhere. And the only thing I could see as the right thing to do was to get married and take care of him.”
The girl gave birth to a baby boy, and the Star-Tribune reports that she and Bouchard divorced three years later. She sadly died by suicide when she was 20 years old.
“She had problems in another relationship. Her dad had committed suicide,” Bouchard said.
After his ex-wife passed away, Bouchard said he continued to raise their son, with whom he says he now has an “estranged” relationship.
“Sadly, he’s made some wrong choices in his life,” Bouchard said. “He’s almost become my estranged son. Some of the things that he’s got going on [in] his life I certainly don’t approve of them. But I’m not going to abandon him. I still love him. Just like when he was born.”
Bouchard, who has been a Wyoming state senator since 2017, is running against Rep. Liz Cheney in the 2022 Republican primary. Cheney has met significant opposition from her Republican peers in recent months after voting to impeach Former President Donald Trump.
Bouchard told the Star-Tribune that a “political opposition research company” had been investigating his past and he anticipated the story about his son would soon become public.
“This is really a message about how dirty politics is,” Bouchard told the outlet. “They’ll stop at nothing, man. When you get in the lead and when you’re somebody that can’t be controlled, you’re somebody who works for the people. They’ll come after you. That’s why good people don’t run for office.”
Bouchard doesn’t believe that Cheney was involved in the investigative efforts, though, and her office confirmed that she was not to the Star-Tribune on Friday (May 21).
“The Cheney campaign had no involvement in this at all,” her spokesperson Jeremy Adler said.
Bouchard is planning to move forward with his campaign.
“Bring it on. I’m going to stay in this race,” he said. “We’re going to continue to raise money because my record stands on its own.”