Lawmaker makes controversial comment during discussion of sex as - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lawmaker makes controversial comment during discussion of sex assault bill

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State Representative Mike Bocchino (Source: CTN video) State Representative Mike Bocchino (Source: CTN video)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A state representative is under fire for his comments made about sexual assaults, and now some are demanding an apology.

While Democrats said his comment was “distasteful,” the Republican Party said his comment is being taken out of context.

Greenwich Republican State Rep. Mike Bocchino was discussing a bill regarding sex assault when he made a controversial remark on Tuesday.

The comment causing controversy came up during his testimony, where Bocchino said, "At the end of the day, if there are no witnesses, at least if there are it is a great party."

Bocchino did vote in favor of the bill, however he was raising some concerns at a hearing on Tuesday.

The bill would require both parties to say ‘yes' before becoming intimate with a partner.

“No question that sexual assault is a horrific thing. No question that date rape things that happen on college campuses are disgusting,” he said.

However, he added that legislators need to find a way to make sure the new bill cannot be interpreted in another way than intended.

It was his off-the-cuff remarks, however, that have raised a few concerns.

“I think that is so rude,” said Emily Tourgeman, who is a college student. “I don't understand how someone in that high of a position, someone who is supposed to be in the public eye in a positive way, can make a degrading comment. That's a really childish comment.”

Democrats were outraged, and the state Democratic Party issued a statement which said, "I assume that it was an attempt at humor, but Rep. Bocchino should know better - and his constituents elected him to know better. Campus sexual assault is not a joke. It affects both genders, but up to one in five female students are victims. It's a serious problem, and I hope Rep. Bocchino publicly apologize for his distasteful and offensive comment."

“I think he should definitely apologize,” said college student Victoria Smith.

Bocchino could not be reached for comment.

The Republican Party did say Bocchino voted for the bill and was commended by the female democratic chairman of the committee.

To watch the full hearing, click here.

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