By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, fired back at one of his colleagues who publicly criticized him for his announcement last week that as an 18-year-old in the 1980s, he impregnated and then married a 14-year-old girl.
In his latest Facebook video, Bouchard attacked Major Floor Leader Sen. Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, for his comments to the London Daily Mail newspaper.
“[Ogden Driskill] is the same guy that attacked me during my re-election, the same guy who jumped in with a whole host of people endorsing my opponent,” Bouchard said.
“He should be looking at all the stuff he’s done to line his pockets, all the things that benefit him as a senator,” Bouchard alleged without mentioning anything specific.
Driskill’s comments came in response to revelations that while living in Florida, Bouchard, then 18, had a relationship with and impregnated a 14-year-old girl. The two later married.
Driskill said the incident may force Bouchard to withdraw from his Republican primary challenge of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney.
“The lack of transparency he has shown is terrible,” Driskill told the outlet. “I’m not sure he should be running for Congress.”
In his 14-minute Facebook video response, Bouchard called Driskill “scum” and attacked him for talking with the Daily Mail about something that happened nearly 40 years ago.
“Ogden Driskill could have stayed out of this fight,” he said.
Sen. Driskill told Cowboy State Daily that he spoke publicly about the senator because Bouchard’s revelation was so egregious.
“This isn’t the type of person I want in Congress to represent me,” Driskill said.
Calling Bouchard a “predator”, Driskill said there is a “huge difference” between a high school student dating a younger peer and a high school dropout who had a job and was “hanging out with 13 and 14-year-olds”.
“That was not acceptable back then,” he said. “In fact, where I’m from you took your life in your own hands if you went out to date junior high girls.”
Driskill said Bouchard’s “lack of character” should be enough to disqualify him in the eyes of voters for the congressional race. If not, Driskill said Bouchard’s legislative record says it all.
Of the 20 bills Bouchard has introduced none of them have become law, Driskill said.
“Bouchard bills are 0 – 20. True leadership,” he said sarcastically.
Bouchard’s announcement of the teenage relationship and subsequent marriage became international news on Thursday when he published the tell-all video on Facebook. He said he did it because a British news outlet was preparing to release a report about the incident.
Bouchard said the fact the incident had been revived was an example of “dirty politics” and framed the relationship as a teenage romance.
“So bottom line…two teenagers, girl gets pregnant, you’ve heard this story before,” Bouchard said in last week’s video. “She was younger than me. So it’s like the Romeo and Juliet story.”
That analogy did not set well with Kristen Schwartz, the executive director of Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, who called it “dangerous and wrong.”
“Laws exist to protect young people involved in these situations,” Schwartz told The Associated Press. “There’s a reason we have laws against sexual abuse of a minor and it’s because the brain of a 14-year-old is not developed enough to make mature decisions about sex and sexuality.”“
“Any language that would minimize things that are a crime is harmful. It’s harmful to survivors and it’s harmful to our greater community,” she added.
At the time, the two were able to marry because Florida law allowed marriage at any age if a pregnancy was involved and a parent consented. They were divorced about three years later, and the woman ultimately committed suicide in 1990.
Bouchard’s son, Tony Raymond Bouchard, is currently jailed at the Bob Wiley Detention Facility in Visalia, California, on multiple charges, including sodomy by use of force, sexual penetration by foreign object and false imprisonment by violence. He has been incarcerated since 2018, but hasn’t been officially convicted of the aforementioned charges.
Bouchard announced his run for Congress in January, not long after U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for the role he allegedly played in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.