In the early hours of May 10, 1975, the Springdale, Arkansas police department received a call from a nearby hospital. It was treating a 12-year-old girl who said she had been raped.
The suspect was identified as Thomas Alfred Taylor, a 41-year-old factory worker and friend of the girl’s family.
The lawyer he would end up with: Hillary Rodham.
“It was a fascinating case, it was a very interesting case,” Clinton says in the recording. “This guy was accused of raping a 12-year-old. Course he claimed that he didn’t, and all this stuff."
“I had him take a polygraph, which he passed – which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs,” she added with a laugh.
Clinton can also be heard laughing at several points when discussing the crime lab’s accidental destruction of DNA evidence that tied Taylor to the crime.
In a July 28, 1975, court affidavit, Clinton wrote that she had been informed the young girl was “emotionally unstable” and had a “tendency to seek out older men and engage in fantasizing.”
Now the girl at the center of the case has come forward.
A child rape victim says she cannot forgive Hillary Clinton for defending her rapist in court 40 years ago, saying the Democratic presidential candidate attacked her credibility despite knowing that her assailant was guilty – and later laughed about it in a taped interview.
Kathy Shelton was just 12 years old when a 41-year-old drifter raped her on the side of a desolate Arkansas road in 1975.
'It's put a lot of anger back in me,' said Shelton, now 54, in an exclusive interview at her Springdale, Arkansas, home in August. 'Every time I see [Clinton] on TV I just want to reach in there and grab her, but I can't do that.'
Taylor pleaded down to 'unlawful fondling of a minor' and served less than a year in prison after Clinton was able to block the admission of forensic evidence that linked her client to the crime.
That ought to be remembered every time Hillary claims to be a defender of women.
In a lengthy interview with the Daily Mail Online, Shelton said Clinton is 'lying' when she claims to be a lifelong defender of women and girls.
Shelton said Clinton accused her during the case of 'seeking out older men', and demanded that the 12-year-old undergo a grueling court-ordered psychiatric examination to determine whether she was 'mentally unstable'.
'I don't think [Clinton's] for women or girls. I think she's lying, I think she said anything she can to get in the campaign and win,' Shelton said. 'If she was [an advocate for women and children], she wouldn't have done that to me at 12 years old.'
Hillary is strictly an advocate for Hillary.
'I heard you on tape laughing,' said Shelton. 'I just want to know, you've got a daughter and a grandbaby. What happens if that daughter of yours, if that would have been her [who was assaulted at age 12]?'
Shelton said she 'wasn't surprised' that Clinton has yet to express sympathy for the plight she went through as a victim.
She said: 'If she brought it up there would probably be some questions asked that she wouldn't be able to answer.
'Because after laughing on that tape, she's pretty much stuck in knowing that she lied, knowing that it happened to me. And that tape's out there to be listened to by anybody.'
On May 10, 1975, Shelton, an outgoing 12-year-old tomboy, had been riding her bike around the neighborhood when she first encountered Taylor - who worked at a paper factory at the time - and an underage male at one of her friend's houses.
Shelton got into Taylor's truck after he said he would take her to get a soda.
Taylor drove to a 'weedy ravine', where he and his 15-year-old male acquaintance raped her.
Taylor and his 15-year-old accomplice denied raping Shelton, although one unnamed witness of the attack told prosecutors that he overheard Taylor sexually assaulting Shelton, according to court records.
'They denied it and said I asked for it,' said Shelton. 'Do you think I would ask to have several stitches down there and not have kids? No, I wouldn't.'
Shelton said she was a virgin before she was raped, and her mother was very strict about her relationships with members of the opposite sex.
'My mom didn't even let me start dating until 18 and then I didn't want to because of what happened,' said Shelton. 'I didn't deserve it…I was a virgin, let's put it that way, when it happened. And I was totally freaked out.'
Shelton said she was physically beaten during the attack.
'I can't cuss, but [Taylor] was calling me the 'b' word, and [saying] 'You like it, you know it',' said Shelton. 'Slapping me and hitting me with his fist.'
Shelton said she managed to escape her attackers to a nearby house that had a light on, and later woke up in the hospital.
helton recounted the brutal assault that she said left her with severe internal and external injuries. She said she was knocked into a coma, and later required stitches in her genital area.
'When I came out of the coma, I had several stitches down there. They tore me up bad,' she said. 'The doctors said there was a 99 percent chance I couldn't have kids. I have been with a couple men after that, it took me a long time to grow there. But I never had any kids.'
As a result of the attack, Shelton said doctors told her it was unlikely she would ever be able to have children. She said she was devastated by the prognosis.
'When I was younger I really wanted a kid so bad,' said Shelton, who has never had children. 'I love kids.'
In the photo, Shelton looks younger than her 12 years. Today she looks older than 54, with wrinkles and heavy bags under her piercing blue eyes.
She said she sometimes finds it hard to talk about the attack, all these years later.
'Sometimes I still break down and cry, since it's been brought back up,' she said. 'I'm trying right now not to tear up, but it's kind of hard sometimes.'
But she said that won't stop her from speaking out about what she went through - even if it is politically uncomfortable for one of the world's most powerful women.
'I'm being restored for something that was stolen from me,' she said.
The Clintons have stolen from all of us. From Shelton perhaps more than anyone else.