We reported this week that Ohio State Rep. Wes Goodman, who frequently talked about his Christian faith and family values, resigned in the wake of allegations that he had consensual sex with a man in his government office. It turns out that there’s much more to this story, and Goodman has exhibited a pattern of inappropriate and non-consensual sexual attacks.
Goodman was said to have resigned after “an incident from weeks ago” involving “inappropriate behavior” related to his office, and that could still be true, but he has also been accused of doing much worse in 2015. And a lot of people, including Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, said nothing as he was elected. It turns out he stepped down several days after he was contacted by the Washington Post about an incident at the Ritz-Carlton years ago.
An 18-year-old college student said Goodman “pushed” him to come back to his room at the hotel, then offered to share his bed. When the teen woke up in the middle of the night, he was surprised at what he found.
In his written statement, the young man said he awoke in the middle of the night to find Goodman’s hand “pulling down my zipper.” His pants had been unbuttoned and his zipper was down. He darted from the room at about 4 a.m. “I was shaken, dazed, confused and very upset,” he wrote.
The young man, who isn’t identified by the Post, fled the room and told his mother and stepfather that then-candidate Goodman fondled him at night. The stepfather wrote to Perkins, who also heads the Council for National Policy, and asked him to handle the situation (and not endorse Goodman).
Perkins seemed to handle the situation well at first. He said “this will not be ignored nor swept aside” and that it would “be dealt with swiftly.” He even discouraged Goodman from entering the race he ultimately won.
Perkins told Goodman in late 2015 he should not run for office until he addressed his behavior.
“Going forward so soon, without some distance from your past behavior and a track record of recovery, carries great risk for you and for those who are supporting you,” he wrote on Dec. 18, 2015.
Still, Goodman went forward with his plans and actually won the election. At this point, Perkins and other conservative Christian leaders didn’t speak up to warn anyone about his past behavior, despite the fact that they clearly acknowledged it in numerous emails.
This is how people protect predators, and it’s part of the reason this type of behavior gets so far.
You would hope people whose entire career is built on “family values” and the idea of holding the moral high ground would be first in line to call out those who are accused of assault. Instead, Goodman was elected and his alleged assault was swept under the rug. That is, until mainstream media reporters were willing to uncover what Tony Perkins never would.