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Tim Pawlenty Defends Pardoning Sex Offender Who Faces New Allegations Of Raping His Own Daughter

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Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) said Wednesday that he is "heartsick" over news that Jeremy Giefer, the sex offender that he pardoned 15 years after he had finished his prison sentence for statutory rape of a 14-year-old, is facing new allegations that he had sexually abused his own daughter more than 250 times both before and after he was exonerated in 2008. He then proceeded to defend the original decision of the pardon board.

The Associated Press reported this week that the new charges had surfaced, and a later examination of the claims by the Twin Cities City Pages shows that the alleged victim was the daughter he conceived in 1993 with an under-age girl who later became his wife.

The City Pages has some lurid details on the matter, which they sum up by explaining:

In fact, the complaint alleges, Giefer had been raping his daughter for about six years when Pawlenty granted him his extraordinary pardon.

In retrospect, Pawlenty admitted Wednesday, the pardon was probably not a good idea.

"Had this new information been available to the Board at the time of the pardon request, the pardon should not and would not have been granted," said in a statement, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Despite the nature of the new information, however, the potential presidential candidate also took a moment to defend the pardon:

"We all have to keep in mind that this pardon was granted many years after he had served his sentence and been out of jail for many years. ... The granting or not granting of the pardon wouldn't have changed his availability to commit future crimes or the crimes that he's alleged to have committed. We didn't let him out of jail."

Also complicating the matter is the nature of the pardon, which Giefer had requested in order to allow his wife to get a daycare license so they could open up a center at their residence.

City Pages reports that the Giefer's facility has recently been shut down -- 13 days after the new allegations about the more recent instances of rape had come to light.

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