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Hillary Clinton look at on during the 2nd presidential debate. In 1975 Clinton to be the court appointed lawyer because that a man accused the raping Kathy Shelton, who was in the audience the night.

You are watching: Did hillary get a rapist off

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When the presidential candidates questioned last month because that the second time, Donald Trump asserted that Hillary Clinton when laughed in ~ a victim the rape. The allegation stems indigenous a case that Clinton functioned as a young lawyer in 1975 — she safeguarded one of two males accused of raping then-12-year-old Kathy Shelton.

Trump featured Shelton in a press conference that was transfer on on facebook Live front of the debate and then lugged her in to sit with the audience. Trump spoke about Shelton onstage, arguing Clinton mistreated her:



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"One of the women, that is a wonderful woman, in ~ 12 year old, to be raped — at 12. Her customer — she represented, acquired him off," trumped said. "And she"s seen laughing top top two different occasions, laughing at the girl who was raped. Kathy Shelton, the young woman, is here with united state tonight."

Trump"s insurance claim was the Clinton laughed at Shelton in one interview in the 1980s in i beg your pardon she talked about the case. Clinton replied that Trump was just an altering the subject from his therapy of women.


Shelton said Morning Edition"s Steve Inskeep that on that day in 1975 she was quit while riding she bike to church and beaten, raped and also dumped the end of a truck.

Two men were caught. One to be underage. The other faced criminal charges. Hear she tell she story come Inskeep (warning, the is disturbing):


Kathy Shelton tells she story
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The regional prosecutor was Mahlon Gibson, who still remembers that 1975 case.

"This certain defendant was wanting a female attorney," Gibson speak gendergeek.org.

Clinton, climate Hillary Rodham, was teaching at a nearby law school. The judge deferred come the defendant"s wishes for a woman attorney and also assigned the instance to Clinton.

"I didn"t understand who he had actually appointed till I got a contact from Ms. Rodham," the said. "She to be pretty upset. She said, "I desire you to obtain me off of this case. I simply don"t want to manage it. It"s not my kinda case." ns said, "Ms. Rodham, i can"t help you. Ns didn"t choose you. The referee appointed you, and also you"re walking to have actually to call him." Usually when you"re appointed through a referee to aid out in a court system, you carry out it. You simply don"t want to acquire the judge cross through you."


As the prosecutor recalls it, Rodham tried to get out the it.

"She reportedly went to the judge, and also he refuse to let her out," Gibson said. "And at the point, she fired all guns. She mounted fantastic defense, I"ll offer her credit transaction for that."

Gibson claims she tested the physics evidence, and likewise raised questions about the victim"s story and her credibility. V the case looking doubtful, prosecutors accepted a plea bargain. The attacker received a quick prison term and a fine.

This 1975 story would certainly not go into the document again until 1984. That"s as soon as Clinton talked around the situation on audiotape v a writer hired to create a profile for Esquire the was never published. The audiotape is the basis for Trump"s insurance claim that Clinton laugh at a rape victim.

In the ice — i beg your pardon is low quality — Clinton says she had actually her client take a polygraph test. The passed, she says, and adds with a chuckle, it "forever damaged my belief in polygraphs":


Hillary Clinton on the polygraph test (1984)
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Kathy Shelton (center) sit in the audience in ~ the 2nd presidential conflict in October. Shelton was invited to the debate by Donald Trump.

Scott Olson/Getty photos

She chuckles again as soon as saying the prosecutors mishandled proof — underwear native which they"d reduced out the an important part that the fabric. "Yes, indeed," she says, "I had actually a right to check out the evidence":


Hillary Clinton on the proof (1984)
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Roy Reed is the magazine writer that made the tape.

"She and I to be the only two people in this room when this interview took place, and also I assumption: v that renders me the just real witness come what actually happened," stated Reed. ~ reviewing the transcript years later, Reed claims Clinton never laughed in ~ a rape victim.

"She to be laughing at the vagaries that the legal device that play the end every day throughout America in one means or another," that told gendergeek.org.

Shelton has a different interpretation.

"To me she"s saying, they"re guilty, and she"s laughing around it," she said.

Shelton claimed for plenty of years, she had actually no idea the defense lawyer was that Hillary Rodham. She finally found out when a Newsday reporter looked she up because that a item published in 2008. Initially, as quoted in the article, Shelton to be understanding.

"I need to understand the she was representing Taylor," Shelton had said. "I"m certain Hillary was just doing her job."

However, she said gendergeek.org, together she far better grasped the story, she does feel Clinton traumatized she a second time in the righteousness system.

As gendergeek.org"s Carrie Johnson fact-checked throughout last month"s debate, in solution to the 2008 Newsday article, a Clinton spokesman said, "As one attorney and also an officer of the court, she had actually an ethical and also legal duty to defend him come the fullest degree of the law. To act otherwise would certainly have constituted a breach of her expert responsibilities."

Shelton"s lawyer this day is Candice Jackson. She says that Clinton went as well far, by questioning the victim"s reliability.

"And i think that"s what Kathy was expressing, too, that she understands the Hillary Rodham at the moment was doing her job as one attorney. It"s the techniques that Hillary chose to connect in the leave a bitter taste," she said.

Ultimately, here"s what"s known.

Two males raped Shelton in 1975. Hillary Clinton was assigned to safeguard one suspect and in doing that job, she to reduce his prison term. She later scoffed at the idea of that man having been able to happen a polygraph test.

Shelton signaled what she thinks now by showing up at the debate in support of Trump. Gibson got to a different conclusion and also is voting because that Clinton.

"I to be impressed with her ability. Ns didn"t like the outcome of the case, however that was just due to the fact that we didn"t have enough evidence," that said.

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He insists Clinton go nothing wrong, even though she outmaneuvered his office in 1975.