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Nevada lawmaker denies committing domestic assault

A federal lawmaker from Nevada is denying allegations that he assaulted his first wife during their brief marriage in the 1980s. The documents that falsely accuse him of domestic abuse were, he says, provided by a political opponent in an effort to unseat him from his current position in the U.S. House of Representatives.

According to court documents from Nevada Rep. Joe Heck’s 1988 divorce, his then-wife accused him of inflicting and threatening to inflict physical harm on her, and requested that the court grant a temporary restraining order against him. It is not clear whether the order was ever issued. There do not appear to be any physical or hospital documents filed in support of Heck’s ex-wife’s petition, and media reports to interview her have not been successful.

Heck has flatly and vehemently denied that he ever committed domestic violence against his ex-wife, stating that he never struck or threatened any kind of violence against her during the couple’s marriage. He went on to say that the release of those false documents “demeans the pain that so many victims of domestic violence experience and the courage it takes to confront it.”

Heck gives an account of his brief marriage, stating that he met his ex-wife in 1986 and married her the following year after learning that she was pregnant. After the baby was born, the couple’s relationship soured, and she and the child soon moved out of their home. In 1988, the ex-wife told Heck that the child may not be his, a statement that was later confirmed through a paternity test.

The couple soon divorced, and although the divorce petition accused Heck of domestic violence, those allegations are not mentioned anywhere in the final divorce decree.

Source: Buzzfeed, “Nevada Republican Was Accused Of Assault By Ex-Wife In 1988 Court Documents,” John Stanton, Aug. 24, 2012

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