Kentucky

Report: Accuser says Paul didn't kidnap her; describes incident as hazing

A photo of the NoZe Brotherhood, published in a 1983 issue of the organization's newspaper, The Rope, includes Rand Paul, dressed in a black robe and straw hat, according to GQ.
A photo of the NoZe Brotherhood, published in a 1983 issue of the organization's newspaper, The Rope, includes Rand Paul, dressed in a black robe and straw hat, according to GQ.

The unidentified woman who said Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul made her take part in an apparent college prank that included worshiping "Aqua Buddha" has clarified her story, making clear Paul did not kidnap her or force her to smoke marijuana, according to The Washington Post.

However, the woman stood by the details of her story, the Post reported Wednesday.

The woman's account first surfaced Monday in a posting on the GQ magazine Web site. She told GQ that Paul and another young man — members of a society at Baylor University called the NoZe Brotherhood — blindfolded her, tried to force her to smoke pot, then took her to a creek outside Waco, Texas, and told her to worship the Aqua Buddha.

"The whole thing has been blown out of proportion," the woman told the Post. "They didn't force me, they didn't make me. They were creating this drama: 'We're messing with you.'"

The woman, who was not identified by the Post or GQ at her request, told the Post the incident was so strange that she ended contact with Paul.

"I went along because they were my friends," she told the Post. "There was an implicit degree of cooperation in the whole thing. I felt like I was being hazed."

Paul and the other young man had been smoking pot, the woman told GQ.

The alleged incident happened in 1983, before Paul left Baylor to attend medical school at Duke University. He is now an eye surgeon in Bowling Green and faces Democrat Jack Conway in the Nov. 2 election.

Speaking on Fox News Tuesday, Paul strongly denied kidnapping anyone or forcing anyone to smoke pot, and denounced the GQ article.

Jason Zengerle, who wrote the GQ piece, put the woman in contact with The Washington Post after Paul attacked the story. Zengerle told the Herald-Leader the woman did not want to talk to any additional reporters.

Paul's campaign told the Post the clarification vindicated him, but the campaign didn't directly address the odd details of the incident.

"It is satisfying to see the libelous and grossly irresponsible charges of kidnapping completely shot down," Paul campaign spokesman Jesse Benton said in an e-mail. "It remains puzzling to us why the drive-by media continues to focus on an alleged 30-year-old teenage prank when our nation faces high unemployment, a $13 trillion debt and are threatened with a cap-and-trade national energy tax."

Democrats said Paul still has questions to answer.

"Does Rand Paul think this woman is a liar?," Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Communications Director Eric Schultz said in a news release. "Rand Paul's accuser confirms she was blindfolded, tied up, and forced to worship a false god. Instead of running to his lawyers and to the national media, Paul should start answering questions from Kentuckians, who would like to know what really happened during the night in question."

Paul's campaign has not responded to questions from the Herald-Leader about the alleged incident.

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