Idaho lawmaker Mark Patterson will resign House post

BOISE – Republican Rep. Mark Patterson said Wednesday he’ll resign from the Idaho Legislature after party colleagues from his Boise district urged him to quit amid revelations that he had pleaded guilty in 1974 to assault with intent to commit forcible rape.

Patterson said he’ll hand in his resignation to Gov. Butch Otter this week. The move came just hours after members of the GOP precinct committee in District 15, which Patterson represents, voted unanimously late Tuesday to ask him to step down.

The 39-year-old case in Florida came to light in early November when Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney revoked Patterson’s concealed weapons permit on grounds that he didn’t disclose the criminal case on his application.

“I do agree with the motion that was passed in regards to the fact that, in this current climate I can see where a lack of confidence to serve would be in question,” Patterson wrote in an email. “The citizens of District 15 and Idaho need lawmakers who have their full ability to represent the people.”

On Tuesday night, District 15 officials met behind closed doors, emerging after three hours with the unanimous recommendation that he step down.

Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke welcomed Patterson’s decision.

Patterson was 21 in 1974 when he was charged with rape in Tampa. A 46-year-old woman told police that Patterson forced her to have sex twice and threatened to have his Doberman pinscher attack her if she refused, according to police reports.

Patterson served time in jail before agreeing that July to plead guilty to the lesser charge of assault with intent to commit rape. He received a withheld judgment and five years’ probation.

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