Conservative activist Tony Perkins reportedly covered up sexual assault against teenager.

Conservative Activist Tony Perkins Reportedly Covered Up Sexual Assault Against Teenager

Conservative Activist Tony Perkins Reportedly Covered Up Sexual Assault Against Teenager

The Slatest has moved! You can find new stories here.
The Slatest
Your News Companion
Nov. 18 2017 12:15 PM

Conservative Activist Perkins Reportedly Covered Up Sexual Assault Against Teenager

USVOTEREPUBLICANSCONVENTIONpoliticselection
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, speaks on the last day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 21, 2016.

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

The head of the Family Research Council allegedly kept quiet about claims that an Ohio Republican lawmaker assaulted a teenage boy in a hotel two years ago. Perkins was told that then-candidate for the Ohio legislature Wesley Goodman’s allegedly fondled a supporter’s son during a conference in Washington, according to the Washington Post.

“If we endorse these types of individuals, then it would seem our whole weekend together was nothing more than a charade,” the boy’s stepfather wrote to Perkins, head of the Council for National Policy, to demand action. Perkins replied that “this will not be ignored nor swept aside” but he did say the issue would be “dealt … with prudence.” The apparent actions by Goodman apparently didn’t come as a surprise to Perkins who referred to “similar incidents” in a letter. Perkins called on Goodman to step down from the race, but he continued and eventually won a seat in the legislature in November.

Advertisement

Goodman, now 33, resigned his seat earlier this week after state lawmakers learned about “inappropriate behavior related to his state office,” according to Ohio’s House speaker. Goodman, who is married and repeatedly touted his faith and anti-LGBT views, was reportedly seen having sex with a man in his office. Emails and documents reviewed by the Washington Post “show a small circle of people discussed the complaints about Goodman before he went on to later misconduct at the statehouse,” notes the paper.

Perkins refused to comment but Goodman supporters expressed anger that they were kept in the dark about something that seems to have been a bit of an open secret among some conservatives. “We are so sick of people knowing and doing nothing. If someone knew, they had an obligation to say something. That’s what you do. That’s how you hold society together,” said Thomas R. Zawistowski, president of Ohio Citizens PAC, a conservative group that endorsed Goodman.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.