NEZ PERCE COUNTY, Idaho - Nez Perce County Sheriff Joe Rodriguez apologized for a meme he said his wife accidently posted to his Facebook page that ridiculed people who don't quickly report sexual assault.
"It's a tragic event that people have to go through and they have to relive it every time. You know, so for this happening, being on my Facebook page, I say that I'm sorry," Rodriguez said.
A viewer shared a screenshot of the post with KXLY Saturday afternoon. Sheriff Rodriguez said as soon as he knew about the post, he deleted it. He said he rarely uses Facebook, but still wants to take responsibility for what happened.
"What it was, it was a bad joke and then once I was notified, I removed it immediately," Rodriguez said. "I have to take some ownership because I should probably say that I should monitor my Facebook account more closely."
The post drew swift criticism online with some claims it was insensitive and offensive. This incident happened while a growing number of people publicly share their stories of sexual assault using #WhyIDidntReport.
That hashtag started trending on social media after President Donald Trump tweeted something that questioned the credibility of a woman who claims Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her years ago.
Rodriguez said this mistake on Facebook should not define him, his wife, or his service to the community.
"This subject is very serious. I sympathize with it. They can still trust me as the sheriff. I'm still the same person I was. I'm open and transparent with people," Rodriguez said.
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