A U.S. House candidate currently serving in Wyoming’s state Senate has confessed to impregnating a 14-year-old girl when he was 18.
Anthony Bouchard, who is challenging Republican Liz Cheney for her House seat, first revealed this piece of his past in a Facebook Live video Thursday. He acknowledged the incident Friday in an interview with Casper Star-Tribune.
“Bottom line is it’s a story when I was young, two teenagers, girl gets pregnant,” the 55-year-old Bouchard said in a Facebook Live video. “You’ve heard those stories before. She was a little younger than me, so it’s like the Romeo and Juliet story.”
“There was a lot of pressure to abort a baby,” Bouchard continued. “I got to tell you, I wasn’t going to do it and neither was she. And there was pressure to have her banished from their family. Just pressure. Pressure to go hide somewhere.”
According to Bouchard, the girl’s mother signed consent papers and a wedding followed. The couple divorced three years later. She died by suicide at age 20, he told the newspaper, and said in the Facebook video that her policeman father had previously died by suicide.
The news arrives amid Bouchard’s race to unseat Cheney, who was recently removed from her post in the House Republican leadership after months of publicly rejecting former President Donald Trump’s lie that he won the 2020 presidential election.
Bouchard announced he would challenge Cheney in the 2022 Republican primary in January, one week after the congresswoman voted to impeach Trump on charges that he incited the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Bouchard was the first person to announce a run against Cheney but has been followed by seven others.
Bouchard said he decided to open up about the pregnancy and marriage after he found out a political opposition research firm had begun looking into the matter. The Wyoming senator pointed to that apparent investigation into his personal history as a sign that he is the “front-runner” in the race to claim Cheney’s vacant seat.
“I’ve heard reports over a week ago calling family members, even offering to compensate them for anything they would give up on me. That’s dirty,” Bouchard told the Casper Star-Tribune. “That also tells you I’m in the lead, because they wouldn’t be doing this to me if I wasn’t in the lead. They wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t the front-runner.”