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Father of Rape Victim Rebukes Anti-Kane Group

The ad’s disputed claim

The father of a rape victim referenced in an attack ad against Democratic Attorney General hopeful Kathleen Kane called the ad a lie and called on Republicans to withdraw it.

Update: the group will replace the ad. See below.

“The advertisement says that Kathleen Kane made a plea bargain in a rape case that a judge says wasn’t tough enough. I know that’s a lie, because it was my daughter that was the victim in the case,” he wrote in a letter provided by the Kane campaign. PoliticsPA will not publish his name in order to respect the privacy of the family.

“This advertisement is offensive to me and to my family. I’d like to ask the people who made this outrageous advertisement if they would like their daughter’s tragic story all over television.”

The letter was first reported by Chris Brennan of the Philadelphia Daily News.

The ad is being broadcast in the Philadelphia media market and is paid for by a group called the Republican State Leadership Committee based in Washington, DC.

It is very hard-hitting; by far the nastiest attack ad of the 2012 cycle so far in Pa. It alleges in part, “Of Kane’s few cases, a judge rejected a weak plea deal she made because of the brutality of the crime and age of the victim.”

The victim’s father said that’s not true. So did 1st Assistant Lackawanna County District Attorney Gene Talerico, who supervised Kane.

“I can unequivocally state that Kathleen Kane had no involvement in the plea deal or the sentencing in that matter,” Talerico wrote. “Kathleen Kane’s only involvement in the matter was an administrative function with the signing of the criminal information document setting forth the charges.”

The Kane campaign also assembled court documents from the trial in question. Kane’s name is not listed as the attorney involved with the sentencing.

The RSLC is spending over $500,000 to air the ad, aimed at boosting Republican AG hopeful Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed. The group contributed $480,000 to Tom Corbett’s 2004 AG campaign.

PoliticsPA is seeking a reaction from the RSLC regarding the letter. The group had earlier published a fact check on all of the claims in its ad; the court documents cited therein also appear to back Talerico’s claim that Kane was involved only in the preliminary administrative stages of the case.


Update: The RSLC is backing off of its claim in this case. Said the organization’s President Chris Jankowski:

“Following the issuance of statements from those close to the case that did not come until today, the RSLC has chosen to remove the reference to the case and instead focus on numerous other instances in which Kane failed Pennsylvania victims of abuse.”

He reiterated the group’s other criticism, that Kane had claimed credit for “prosecuting” 3,000 cases but took only two dozen to trial.

“The bottom line is that Kathleen Kane once claimed credit for prosecuting this case and is now taking major steps to distance herself from it.  It is difficult to know the truth with Kane’s record, but we will respectfully move on from discussing this particular case and focus on those failures she is not contesting,” Jankowski said.


The buy is an independent expenditure and Freed was not involved with its production or content. Freed’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the ad.

“As a father who has seen his family go through too much pain already, I am asking Dave Freed and the people who made this offensive advertisement to take it off the air immediately,” the father wrote.

Here’s the full letter written by the victim’s father, from a PDF from the Kane campaign.

15 Responses

  1. Cannot believe Freed and his buddies could stoop so low. They did. Cannot wait for Kathleen Kane to be sworn in as the next Attorney General of PA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Of course Mr. Freed is going to deny knowledge. Those of us who know how politics work, know to whom he is beholding. Asher and Corbett have turned a guy who was probably a fairly decent sort into a monster. If he had integrity himself, Freed would have rejected their help and run independently. I hope when Ms. Kane becomes AG she will investigate the Corbett involvement with the Penn State mess and bring the facts to light. Corbett let one of the finest collegiate institutions in the nation be sullied by his desire for victory. Now he is molding Freed in his likeness. No thanks.

  3. Freed’s silence is shameful and insidious. If he shows this level of indifference to a victim and her family as a candidate, imagine what he would be like as AG.
    Politics as usual, Mr. Freed. The folks in Cumberland County should look to replace you. Your lack of integrity makes you unfit for office.

  4. By virtue of the way the GOP picks its candidates, by necessity Dave Freed is owned by Bob Asher and Asher’s tool Tom Corbett. Asher is a criminal with a record of prison in political corruption cases. Money wins elections. Asher has access to huge money. He who pays the fiddler picks the tune. Dave Freed is a good man, forced by circumstances to accept help from slime in the hope that he can win and do some good. Folks, this is the only way a Republican wins in low key PA races. The legacy of allowing the party to be controlled by a man with the moral fiber of a weasel. Bob Asher will be the undoing of the state party, and he will do anything, sacrifice anyone, to remain in power a little longer. Dave Freed bought into this by agreeing to run as Asher’s guy. This is how Asher operates.

  5. Corey–the PAC, Republican State Leadership Committee, that ran the ad was Governor Corbett’s largest donor when he ran for AG. To say that Freed, Corbett’s hand picked candidate, was uninvolved is pretend.

    Freed is a proxy for Corbett. The governor is concerned with his own reelection with Kane as AG. I suspect that a look into the AG’s files on the Sandusky matter will lay bare what Corbett did as AG to delay the case until after the gubernatorial election. There may be more, but the Sandusky case alone could make Corbett a one term governor (or worse), and sully his future in politics.

  6. Dave Freed likes to rape the truth.

    Shame on him.

    If Freed gets elected, you can be sure he’d never investigate Corbett’s handling of Sandusky rape case.

  7. I totally agree Bloke, how can David Freed tell the people that he will bring honesty and integrity to the Attorney General’s office while at the same time refusing to comment or denounce the blatant lies his party is putting forth. Just another example of how David Freed puts politics ahead of people. I hope his “non-fundraiser” fundraiser went well today at the PSU v. Temple game. He is clearly not getting my vote.

  8. @Corey

    the Freed campaign was asked for comment and declined to speak (it’s in the article that I did read). If Freed was a decent honorable man he would publicly state that he did not support the ad or its comments. He would ask the PAC to cease and desist, before the press called.

    His silence and the silence of his campaign speaks loudly. he has aquiesced to the line of attack by his silence, it is more cowardly that he hides behind a PAC rather than man up and face the critics in person.

  9. What the people commenting are failing to see is that David Freed had nothing to do with this advertisement. It was paid for entirely by a PAC. It always helps to actually read the articles.

  10. The problem here is that pulling the ad is not penance for the problem created by releasing the ad in the first place. A statement in an article in the Inquirer that this allegation will be removed is not equal in public effect to the impact of the ad in the first place. And the fact that the creators of the ad show no remorse and in fact are trying to take political advantage of the fact that they had to withdraw the allegation is evidence that they accomplished their goal. Equity and fairness would require that the use the same media with the same exposure to admit that they misrepresented the truth.

  11. I will definitely be giving my scratch to Mrs. Kane on election day.Mr. Freed should be ashamed of himself.

  12. After Freed loses his Attorney General race, somebody has to challenge this guy for District Attorney. He’s embarrassed the people of Cumberland County who voted for him, and they won’t make that mistake again.

  13. I wonder what it is about the Attorney General’s office that makes it worth selling your soul. Seems like a rather cheap prize to trade your integrity for. I also wonder whether Freed sleeps soundly at night, knowing what his lying campaign ad is doing to this family. It’s a damn ugly and vicious way to try and win an election.

  14. This attack ad is so vile it leaves me speechless. Freed is a Filthy disgusting pig. I tend to vote Republican but this filth coming from Freed guarantees I’ll never vote him any time he shows up on a ballot for any office. You are a Pig, David Freed.

  15. As a prosecutor who deals with rape victims and their families, why does David Freed remain silent? Is this how he conducts himself in Cumberland County’s court? Does David Freed believe that using a family’s tragedy to weave a tissue of lies is appropriate for a District Attorney, let alone the Attorney General of Pennsylvania.?

  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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