Little Rock, Ark -- As governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee aggressively pushed for the early release of a convicted rapist despite being warned by numerous women that the convict had sexually assaulted them or their family members, and would likely strike again.
The convict went on to rape and murder at least one other woman.
Huckabee on Tuesday again denied allegations by former parole board members that he lobbied them to release Dumond. "I did indicate [Dumond's case] was sitting at my desk and I was giving thought to it." Charmaine Yoest, a senior adviser to the Huckabee campaign, told the Huffington Post: "I think what should be considered here is that if he [Huckabee] could have changed what happened, he would.
Nobody regrets the loss of life here more than him." In 1996, as a newly elected governor who had received strong support from the Christian right, Huckabee was under intense pressure from conservative activists to pardon Dumond or commute his sentence.The activists claimed that Dumond's initial imprisonment and various other travails were due to the fact that Ashley Stevens, the high school cheerleader he had raped, was a distant cousin of Bill Clinton, and the daughter of a major Clinton campaign contributor.The records revealed in this story -- including correspondence between Dumond's victims and Huckabee, as well as the governor's own file regarding Dumond -- were provided to me in the fall of 2002 by a Republican staffer to then-Gov. I made the decision not to make the files public at that time because of concern for the privacy of the rape victims and their families.I felt that their right to privacy outweighed the public's right to know, although I understand why many people would disagree.Confidential Arkansas state government records, including letters from these women, revealed publicly for the first time, directly contradict the version of events now being put forward by Huckabee.
While on the campaign trail, Huckabee has claimed that he supported the 1999 release of Wayne Dumond because, at the time, he had no good reason to believe that the man represented a further threat to the public."We don't release comments for or against a clemency application or a parole case," the Board's spokesperson said, "except when they are comments from public officials." But most of the women assaulted by Dumond and interviewed for this story say that Huckabee could have made information public while guarding their privacy.Law enforcement authorities also scoffed at the idea that anything in the records would have harmed an ongoing investigation since Dumond is no longer alive .Dumond allegedly raped and murdered her just one day before his arrest for raping and murdering Shields.Prior to the attack, Andrasek and her husband had learned that she was pregnant with their first child.Dumond died of natural causes while in prison on September 1, 2005.