Friday, July 14, 2006

Civil Suit Accuses U.S. Senate Hopeful Lorge of Molesting Relative in 1986

Public court records show Robert Gerald Lorge, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, is accused in a civil lawsuit of repeatedly molesting a female relative in April and May 1986, when the girl was 3 years old.

The suit, filed in Dane County Circuit Court in December, seeks exemplary and punitive damages for physical injuries, pain and suffering, and incurred medical expenses. WisPolitics is not naming the alleged victim on the advice of legal counsel.

See the complaint:

Lorge, who did not return repeated phone calls from WisPolitics this week, responded to the suit with a filing that calls the claims "impossible and frivolous" and motivated by "vindictiveness."

He has also filed affidavits from four family members - including former state Rep. Bill Lorge - dismissing the claims as false. The family members contend in their affidavits that the allegations were motivated by the victim's mother, who they say does not like Robert Lorge.

See the affidavits:

"Furthermore, the timing of the accusations shows that this filing is an attempt to derail Mr. Lorge's candidacy for public office," Lorge's attorney argued in the response filed with the court.

See Lorge's response:

Lorge became the GOP nominee to take on Dem U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl this week after he was the only Republican candidate to turn in the required signatures to qualify for the ballot. The state GOP had been seeking a better-known candidate to take on Kohl and has made no effort to support Lorge's candidacy. The Badger Poll, released this week, showed Kohl leading Lorge 63 percent to 14 percent.

A GOP official declined to comment on the suit, as did Kohl's campaign.

In the suit, the woman says Lorge "committed battery, intentionally inflicted emotional distress, and sexually abus(ed)" her, causing her "bodily and emotional harm."

There are no hearings for the suit listed on the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access Web site. The woman's attorney declined to comment when contacted by WisPolitics today.

Lorge, an attorney from Bear Creek and perennial candidate for statewide office, is the son of Gerald D. Lorge, a former Republican state senator who served in the Legislature between 1955 and 1983. His brother, Bill, was a state representative who served in the late 1980s and into the '90s.

-- By JR Ross

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