Minn. Sen. Durenberger denies charge he raped woman 29 years ago

November 02, 1992|By Knight-Ridder Newspapers

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Sen. Dave Durenberger, R-Minn., vehemently has denied charges that he raped a woman 29 years ago and fathered an illegitimate son.

"With every fiber of my being, I deny what this woman has charged me with. Her allegations are totally untrue," Mr. Durenberger said in a statement yesterday.

His chief aide said the woman made up the story to extort money.

The woman, Joyce Rauscher of Cottage Grove, Minn., was expected to file a civil suit today seeking at least $50,000 from Mr. Durenberger to make up for emotional suffering and the cost of raising her son, Kenneth Millette, now 28. They filed notice of the suit on Mr. Durenberger in July.

Ms. Rauscher and her attorney, Elizabeth A. Cloutier, leaked the accusations to the Minneapolis Star Tribune last week after failing to persuade Mr. Durenberger to agree to a secret, out-of-court cash settlement.

Mr. Durenberger's chief of staff, Rick Evans, said Ms. Rauscher and Ms. Cloutier wanted $100,000.

He said Mr. Durenberger "has had no communication with her whatsoever for almost three decades until the presentation of a demand for money days before the statute of limitation ran out."

Mr. Durenberger said he will take "appropriate scientific tests" to prove he is not the father. His staff refused to say why he had not already taken the tests.

Ms. Cloutier denied the countercharge of extortion yesterday, but refused to answer any other questions.

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