new mexico legislature
Floor of the New Mexico capital building, known as the Roundhouse, where Martinez uttered his comments in a committee meeting last week. March 11, 2015 Latin Times / Cedar Attanasio

“Rape is defined in many ways and some of it is just drunken college sex,” said Rep. Kenny Martinez (D-Grants), a law-maker taking part in New Mexico’s 60 day legislative session. The sentence, which Martinez says is completely out of context, was uttered last week during a hearing on the parental rights of rapists.

Martinez and 11 other members of House Judiciary passed the bill, which would give mothers up to 6 years to request revocation of parental rights from rapist fathers. As the Santa Fe New Mexican’s Steve Terrell reports, no one commented on Martinez’s remarks during the hearing. Then, he explains, the comments catapulted on to the internet.

“Monday former state Sen. Rod Adair, R-Roswell, wrote about it in his blog, New Mexico Political Journal. Later, Rep. Kelly Fajardo, R-Belen, said in a news release, ‘It is simply inexcusable that Rep. Kenny Martinez dismissed a serious crime as nothing more than a night of 'drunken college sex.' His comments are belittling to anyone who has ever been a victim and survivor of sexual abuse, and I hope that he will apologize.’"

Martinez did not apologize, saying that it was Fajardo and Adiar who owed the apology.

“To create a political stunt on something this important, I really think they owe an apology to every victim of rape in the state of New Mexico,” he said.

Specifically, he charged that Adair took his comments out of context. According to Martinez, the full quote should have been “Rape is defined in many ways and some of it is just drunken college sex, without the ability to consent." However, this portion of his alleged comment may not be audible in the official recording of the video.

Some women’s advocates argued that context didn’t matter.

“I’m appalled by Rep. W. Ken Martinez’s callous comments. He now claims his comments were taken out of context, but in context and hearing his tone of voice, it’s clear that he was diminishing rape, and he absolutely owes an apology,” said Rebecca Kiessling, a pro-life advocate told In the article Kiessling, who is not a resident of New Mexico, didn’t appear to be familiar with Martinez’s position on the relevant bill.

Whatever Adair really said, some New Mexico women’s groups supported behind him.

"I've known Rep. Martinez for 30 years, and I've been an advocate for women's rights and domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Sheila Lewis, director of Safe, a municipally-funded sexual assault and domestic violence advocacy group, in an interview with the Deming Headlight. “We have no greater champion. I have no doubt in my mind that what he said was in support of women."

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