ATLANTA (MyFOX ATLANTA) - In her first television interview Tuesday, a 24-year-old woman said as a teenager she had a romantic relationship with Ray McBerry, who is now a Republican candidate for governor. McBerry denied any misconduct with the young woman.
Rachel Gandee's story first appeared on the internet and in newspaper accounts. Gandee addressed the allegations publicly Tuesday, in an effort she said to put the difficult time behind her.
"I mean, I trusted him so I went to him and he was the youth minister at the time," Gandee said.
Gandee said her relationship with McBerry took place eight years ago, over a period of several months. At the time, Gandee was 16 years old.
"I guess it was like any relationship when you first start off you know, [kind of] kissing, a little bit of this, a little bit of that. It just [kind of] grew from there to what eventually happens," Gandee recalled.
Gandee said she and McBerry had sex one time.
Gandee, who is now 24 years old, works in Fayette County as a medical assistant and her husband, Chris, is an emergency medical technician.
"At the time, I was too ashamed and scared and didn't know what to think to say anything about it," Gandee said.
Gandee is now speaking publicly about the relationship, just as the race for governor heats up.
McBerry has been running for governor under a conservative states' rights banner and he has denied any misconduct.
"It's not true. There was no romantic relationship on my end," McBerry said. "The charge of any kind of sexual relationship came out of nowhere last week."
OMG, my head is going to explode due to the sheer sleaziness shown by the sheer sleaziness that is having a sexual relationship with an underage girl. McBerry should be ashamed of himself, and I am re-endorsing John Oxendine for Governor. Your thoughts.
UPDATE: Here's McBerry's e-mail to the GA Young Republicans on his disclusion from the debates:
From: RayMcBerry@aol.com [mailto:RayMcBerry@aol.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2010 5:03 PM
Cc: email@example.com; RayMcBerry@aol.com
Subject: Saturday’s Columbia County YR Gubernatorial Debate
I have now contacted you twice regarding your violation of the Georgia YR’s rules in not inviting all qualified Republican candidates for the gubernatorial debate in Evans this Saturday. I expressed to you yesterday that I was calling for the purpose of trying to remedy the matter and make sure that you were aware that you are in violation of both the YR and GOP rules and principles; and you acted both unprofessional and discourteous by hanging up on me both times. Your assistant reported to my staff that you were not inviting me because of Ms. Handel’s decision to not appear at your debate if I did so.
Since you have heretofore not contacted my Campaign to let us know that you are extending an invitation to my Campaign to participate, as you are required to do per the Georgia YR constitution cited below, I am sending this email to you to instruct you what you are to do to remedy this problem immediately. I am no longer asking politely; I am giving you instructions. If you do not follow them, I will instruct our Campaign to file the necessary charges against you to have you removed from office and/or censured.
Contact my Campaign scheduling assistant, Jennie Jones, either via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone at 404.916.9252 not later than 5:00pm on Friday 7 May 2010 to invite me to participate in the Evans debate on Saturday. If you call and get no answer, leave a voicemail inviting me to participate and providing whatever information the other candidates have received who are participating. Nothing less will be acceptable.
It is my hope that you will do that which both honours our rules and our principles as fellow Republicans. This is your last opportunity to respond correctly.
Republican for Governor 2010