(WISCONSIN) — On Friday, The La Crosse Tribune wrote a piece detailing GOP Congressional Candidate Derrick Van Orden’s history of sexual harassment in the United States military, which was first reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In response, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Spokesperson Courtney Beyer released the following statement:

“Sexual harassment is a miserable reality for a number of women serving in the United States military. The fact that a candidate for federal office has not only been a part of the problem, but openly bragged about perpetuating this epidemic is wholly disqualifying. The Wisconsin GOP and dark money groups that continue to support Van Orden’s candidacy must hold him accountable for his actions.”

Derrick Van Orden is challenging Representative Ron Kind in Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District.

Van Orden is a member of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Young Guns” program, which provides resources for candidates in competitive districts, and has been endorsed by former Gov. Scott Walker, Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump, and Congressman Mike Gallagher.

KEY POINTS BELOW: 

La Crosse Tribune: In 2015 book, Van Orden brags about exposing a man’s genitals to two female officers

  • In the 2015 book, “Book of Man: A Navy Seal’s Guide to the Lost Art of Manhood,” candidate Derrick Van Orden of Hager City writes about an incident where he spontaneously exposed a male lieutenant’s enlarged scrotum to two young female officers.
  • In a statement, Van Orden said that the incident was part of a medical training, though an excerpt of the book does not explicitly identify the women as medical officers.
  • In a chapter of the co-authored book, titled “Out of the Cold — Rabbit Holes,” Van Orden writes that after a training involving poison oak, he and a male lieutenant were receiving medical treatment at Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego for their “weeping sores.”
  • While waiting for medical attention at the naval hospital, the lieutenant sat with a towel between his legs covering the genitalia, and Van Orden writes that he spots low-level female officers that he describes as young, cute girls.
  • “Here’s this lieutenant sitting behind a little curtain, spread eagle, ball sack huge as a cantaloupe, and his eyes swollen nearly shut,” Van Orden writes.
  • “That’s when I spotted two (officers), who happened to be young girls in their early twenties,” he said.
  • “‘Excuse me,’ I said to the two cute girls, approaching them. ‘Could I ask you something,'” Van Orden wrote.
  • “After walking them over to the outside of the lieutenant’s location, I whipped the curtain back. ‘Have you ever seen anything like this?’ I asked. They gasped in horror as they saw the LT in all of his glory. I’m sure they never wanted to have anything do with a man ever again,” he said.
  • After the incident, Van Orden said that the “lesson learned,” was that the lieutenant should have listened to him earlier to leave the training sooner and avoid the dangerous poison oak side effects.
  • “These aren’t the values I was raised with here in Wisconsin, and it’s not how my wife and I raised our two sons to treat others. This is not the behavior of someone who should be representing Wisconsin in Congress,” Kind said in his statement.
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