Virginia Democratic Rep. Jim Moran, whose son pleaded guilty Wednesday to assaulting his girlfriend, has for months expressed support for renewing the federal government’s Violence Against Women Act.
Moran issued a lengthy statement in support of reauthorizing the law on May 16, the same day House Republicans brought their version of the law to a vote without allowing Democrats’ amendments. Moran voted against the Republican version of reauthorization, saying the House should take up Senate Democrats’ version.
“Initially enacted in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act established federal programs and policies to combat the harmful and persistent impact that domestic violence, sexual assault, and dating violence has on our society,” Moran said in a statement May 16.
“Nearly one in four women are the victims of rape or abuse by a partner during adulthood, with young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experiencing the highest rate of partner violence.” (RELATED: Patrick Moran pleads guilty to assaulting girlfriend, gets probation)
“This bipartisan legislation works. Since 1994, reporting of domestic violence has increased by as much as 51 percent, while the number of individuals killed by an intimate partner has decreased 34 percent for women and 57 percent for men,” the statement read.
After the Washington City Paper broke the news Wednesday about his son’s guilty plea, Moran’s office issued a statement that seemed to contradict the police report, calling the assault an “accident.”
The police report said that a police officer saw Patrick Moran, 23, grab his girlfriend of six months by the back of her head and slam her head into a metal trash can cage on Dec. 1 in front of a Washington, D.C. nightclub. The pair were arguing over a conversation Moran had inside the club with another woman.
Officers who responded to the incident reported that the youger Moran’s unnamed girlfriend was “bleeding heavily from her nose” and that “her nose and right eye were swollen.” Her nose also appeared to be broken, and her right eye socket may have been fractured, the attending medical technician told police.
But Rep. Moran’s statement described the incident differently.
“The Congressman strongly condemns domestic violence. As was stated in court by both his son Patrick and his girlfriend … the situation was an accident,” read the statement a Moran spokesman gave The Washington Post and other news outlets.
“They were the only two people involved in the scene,” the statement continued. “In that sense, their statements are the only ones that matter. They are both very embarrassed by the situation, which involved drinking, and they are looking to move past it, and ask for their privacy to be respected.”
Patrick Moran was arrested for felony assault and domestic violence, but pleaded guilty Wednesday to simple assault, a misdemeanor, the Post reported. He was ordered to one year of probation.
He resigned from his father’s re-election campaign in October following the release of an undercover video that appeared to show him conspiring to commit voter fraud. (RELATED: James O’Keefe video leads to resignation of Patrick Moran from father’s campaign)