NV-St.Sen: Explosive audio of possible bribe

[cross-posted at DLCC.org]

Something in the water must be affecting Republican primaries in Nevada. Hot on the heels of the “chickens for checkups” incident roiling the U.S. Senate race, an incumbent State Senator has been caught on tape allegedly offering to bribe the parents of a rape victim in an effort to protect the man who was convicted in the case:

A Las Vegas woman said Thursday that state Sen. Dennis Nolan showed signs of "complete insanity" by offering her money if she would tell the truth about a rape involving her ex-husband and sister. (...)

In the message, he talks about making it "very financially beneficial" if Lawes would tell the truth about the 2008 court case in which her then-husband, Gordon Lawes, now 29, was convicted of raping her then 16-year-old sister. Gordon Lawes received a prison sentence of at least 10 years.

Amazingly, the audio recording of Nolan allegedly offering the bribe and engaging in possible witness tampering was not obtained through any special efforts. Nolan left the message himself on the Lewes family’s answering machine. And, so there’s no doubt about the content and context of that message, you can listen for yourself below:

Launch in external player

Nolan served as a character witness at the defendant’s trial, and Nolan still makes the argument today that the 16-year-old girl was not raped at all because (he claims) she consented and then failed to tell the truth at trial (16 is the age of consent in Nevada). The girl’s family was understandably outraged by the claim:

[Tim] Anderson said that his daughter "was passed out drunk when Gordon raped her. She couldn't consent to anything."

Jaime Lawes said Thursday that Nolan's allegations are ridiculous.

"I stated the truth on the witness stand," Lawes said. "My ex-husband Gordon confessed to the rape. I stand by my story because in fact a rape took place."

Amazingly, despite a flood of calls from Republican voters angry about Nolan's conduct, the Republican Party of Nevada is refusing to call for his resignation or withdrawal from his re-election bid. Chairman Mark Amodei would only go so far as to say "Dennis Nolan needs to do some soul searching."

We think he needs to do more than soul-searching. We think he needs to resign, immediately. If you agree, click here to add your voice to the call.

Tags: 2010, Crime, GOP misdeeds, Nevada, Primaries, scandals (all tags)

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