Rep. Gauthier, 56, claims rest-stop oral sex with Craigslist boy, 17, was consensual
Though police were aware of the incident as early as the night it happened, they didn't pass their records along to the St. Louis County Attorney's office for review until after the Duluth News Tribune reported earlier this week that Gauthier was under investigation for "suspicious activity" at the rest stop. Yesterday, prosecutors announced they won't be pressing any charges, and that decision triggered a release of the public records pertaining to the incident.
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Minnesota's age of consent is normally 16, but 18 if the adult is in a position of authority over the youth with whom they have sexual relations. Since the boy apparently didn't know he was having oral sex with one of our elected leaders, Rep. Gauthier wasn't in such a position. Furthermore, the boy responded to Gauthier's ad under his own free will and police don't believe any money exchanged hands.
What about prosecuting Gauthier for having sex in a public place? Since nobody saw the incident or complained about it, Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay told the Duluth News Tribune that such a disorderly conduct charge wouldn't stick.
Gauthier, meanwhile, is apparently having a hard time handling the news that his man-on-boy sexing has gone public. He was reportedly admitted to a Duluth hospital with breathing difficulties yesterday morning. A Duluth city councilor told the Tribune she's sure "part of [Gauthier's health problems] had to do with headlines in the newspaper."
Republicans are calling for Gauthier to resign, with MNGOP Chairman Pat Shortridge saying in a statement: "He can't even serve his constituents for fear of having to face reporters." We bet it's satisfying for Republicans to be on that side of a sex scandal for a change!
Gauthier is slated to face Republican Travis Silvers in November in hopes of winning a second term as the representative of House District 7B, which covers central and western Duluth.
If it's any consolation, Gauthier told the officer interviewing him on July 31 that he hadn't done anything like rest-stop oral sex before and vowed it wouldn't happen again.