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Grover Cleveland (March 18, 1837 – June 24, 1908) was an American politician who served as both 22nd and 24th President of the United States, succeeded by both Benjamin Harrison and William McKinley, and is the only president in American history to serve two non-consecutive terms in office. Prior to serving as President, he was Governor of New York.

Though Cleveland is generally considered to be a successful president, in his personal life he was accused of a number of sexual crimes, including rape, and was never prosecuted for it.

Sex crimes

Maria Halpin

About a decade before his first term as president, Cleveland fathered an illegitimate child with a woman named Maria Halpin, and did so after violently raping her and essentially blackmailing her to keep quiet about it. When Halpin learned she was pregnant with Cleveland's child, he wanted nothing to do with, arranging for the child to be put up for adoption when it was born and subsequently had Halpin committed to a mental asylum, although the facility's medical director quickly released her after an evaluation.

The scandal remained a secret until he began running for president, during which Cleveland launched a smear campaign and lied about the whole thing, claiming that the act was consensual, that Halpin was actually a prostitute, and denying that he was the father of the child. Cleveland managed to win the Presidency that year despite the scandal threatening to tarnish his image. The controversy prompted Cleveland's opponents to adopt the chant, "Ma, ma, where's my pa?" After Cleveland won the election, the chant was answered by, "Gone to the White House, ha, ha, ha!"

Frances Cleveland

The other major sexual controversy pertaining to Grover Cleveland actually involves the woman who became his wife, Frances Folsom. At the time the two were married, Folsom was 28 years younger that Cleveland was. While this fact alone is troubling in itself, the truly disturbing part about their relationship was that it began as, essentially, a surrogate father-daughter relationship. Cleveland had known Folsom literally since she was a baby, and as a child, she referred to him as "Uncle Cleve." He told her he wanted to marry her when she was 8, and told his friends that the reason he was still a bachelor was because he was "waiting for his bride to grow up." This borders on pedophilia. Though he waited until he was 21 to marry her, it cannot be denied that the way their relationship began is quite disturbing.

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