PORTLAND, Ore. -- A woman raped as a teenager by former Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt told The Oregonian Newspaper she was 13 when the abuse started. She says the sex abuse continued for years.
Former columnist and longtime journalist Margie Boule interviewed the victim multiple times.
It was very traumatic for her to describe certain thing that had happened, said Boule.
Boule had been working on the story for years. But the newspaper decided not to run with it, largely out of respect for the victim's privacy and concerns about her well-being. The victim has history of suicide attempts.
On January 16th, she died of undisclosed causes in a Portland hospice.
According to Boule, the woman said Goldschmidt raped her frequently. They'd arrange secret meetings. But, Portland's then-Mayor would also see her in public settings. He visited her at school.
She told me she dropped out of high school to be more available to him, said Boule. The relationship dragged on for years, explained Boule She also said, it continued into college, after college and on into her late 20s.
Later in life, Boule says the woman realized she was a victim.
I just think she sensed, here he was a powerful, well respected extraordinarily popular man, and yet, he had damaged her to the point where she wasn't functioning well in her own life, said Boule.
As her life spiraled downward with drugs and alcohol, the victim started talking. Word got back to Goldschmidt.
The woman agreed to keep quiet in exchange for money, annuities valued at roughly $500,000- $600,000.
But the damage had been done.
There's no question, she would have had a different life, no question at all, said Boule.
On May 6, 2004 the Willamette Week first reported that the former governor sexually abused a teenage girl in the late 1970's. Goldschmidt later admitted his guilt and shame. But even today, Goldschmidt disputes the facts.
He claims the victim was 15 when the abuse occurred, telling The Oregonian
Sadly, it appears that much of her account is fabricated and I can only speculate as to her reasons.
KGW is not identifying the woman because she is a rape victim. She and her family had requested that she not be named. The thing that upset me the most is that this woman is dead, and he's saying she's lying about all of this, said Boule.