Dr. Ruwart Answers False Accusations in
Dr. Mary Ruwart reiterated her position on child pornography during a
two-part Presidential Candidate Forum at the Indiana Libertarian State
Convention April 26. Each candidate was given one minute to respond to each
question. Candidates also had three minutes for a closing statement at either
the afternoon or evening session.
"Children forced to participate in sexual acts have the same rights and
recourse as any rape victim," Dr. Ruwart said in response to a question on child
pornography during the afternoon session. "We can, and should, prosecute their
"But bans on child pornography are like bans on drugs and prostitution. They
don't work. They only make a bad situation worse. We've driven the child
pornography market underground, where profits soar and criminals abound. That's
why thousands of children are kidnapped each year and forced into sexual
"In states where prostitution has been banned, prostitutes have no recourse
if they are exploited or abused. In Nevada, where prostitution is legal,
exploitation and abuse are limited.
"We can limit abuse of children in the child pornography trade by ending its
prohibition. We can't end child pornography any more than we can end
prostitution, gambling, or drug use. Utopia is not an option, but liberty does
make a bad situation a bit better."
Because time for answering the question was so brief, Dr. Ruwart did not
elaborate on how predators would be prosecuted without legislation specifying
age of consent. In other discussion, she explained to delegates that courts were
likely to consider that pre-pubescent children had been coerced, since desire
would be absent. The burden of proof would be on the pornography producer or
older sex partner to show that coercion, e.g. rape, had not occurred.
With older teens, the burden of proof would likely be to show that coercion
had occurred. A number of 17 and 18 year old teens have been convicted of
statutory rape and labeled as a sex offenders for having relations with slightly
younger females, even if they lived with them or later married. "Some teens are
quite capable of choosing a mate. Why punish them for life because they are
mature for their age?" she asked.
"Coercion with children coming into puberty (junior high school students) are
more likely to be considered on a case-by-case basis by the courts," Dr. Ruwart
explained. "Junior high students often have consensual sex, even though society
frowns upon it.
"Doing away with age-of-consent laws means that fewer teens will be unjustly
convicted and sentenced to a life with a 'sex offender' label," Ruwart told her
listeners. "Liberty protects our children, both from coercion and
In his answer to the same question, Wayne Allyn Root's campaign manager
claimed Dr. Ruwart said "pedophilia is OK" in her book "Short Answers to Tough
Questions." Mark Schreiber said he paid $100 to have the book shipped overnight
to him and that it contained that phrase and the words "a contract exists."
He also repeated the call, posted on Mr. Root's website, for Dr. Ruwart to
withdraw from the presidential race.
Dr. Ruwart then used the three minutes she was planning to reserve for the
evening session to answer this false accusation. She pointed to copies of "Short
Answers" and invited convention attendees to read page 43 to prove to themselves
those phrases do not appear.
"I've been very disappointed in my dear colleague, Mr. Root, who just last
week, at the Washington LP presidential forum publicly declared that I would be
his preferred vice presidential running mate should he prevail in Denver," she
told Indiana Libertarians. "Yet, when he found something objectionable in my
writings, he did not call or write for further explanation, he simply condemned
"This is particularly disheartening because Mr. Root himself was accused of
misrepresenting the facts in the Ohio Libertarian Convention forum. He came to
me and asked me not to condemn him as a liar until I heard his side of the
story. I told him -- even before hearing his side -- that it had never crossed
my mind to think him guilty of any impropriety.
"I'm sorry that he did not give me the same consideration he wanted for
"Mr. Root owes me no apology. He simply made a mistake, the kind of mistake
neophytes make when they are new to the Party and new to Libertarian campaigns.
"This is why, when choosing your presidential nominee, I suggest you choose
someone experienced in libertarian campaigns. This is why, when choosing your
presidential nominee, remember this person will be looked to as a leader for
years to come.
"Do you want a leader who condemns without consideration? Do you want a
leader who will perpetuate the in-fighting that has crippled the LP for so long,
or someone who can unify diverse factions and encourage them to pull as a team?
"We are selecting more than a presidential nominee in May; we are choosing
the person whose example we want to follow. Choose wisely for you are choosing
the Libertarian Party's future."