Lauren Book says Brian Mast’s controversial Facebook posts show ‘complete lack of respect for women’
Image via Colin Hackley.

Book, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, condemned Mast for joking about sleeping with 15-year-olds and rape.

Sen. Lauren Book is releasing a statement condemning Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Mast after the South Florida Sun-Sentinel uncovered years-old Facebook posts where Mast joked about sleeping with 15-year-olds and rape.

“Brian Mast has demonstrated a complete lack of respect for women and questionable moral character unbecoming of a Congressman with disgusting ‘jokes’ about pedophilia, rape, and murder made on social media,” Book said in a Friday statement.

Mast posted the comments in 2009 and 2011 in response to posts by Rocco LeDonni, a long-time Mast friend who now serves as his campaign manager.

In a 2009 post, LeDonni uploaded a picture of him at a bar during a trip to South Africa. In a comment, Mast wrote, “i’m so proud of you… i hope you hook up with at least fifteen 15 year olds over there…. its legel there right.”

In a 2011 post, LeDonni asked, “Anyone have any good pick up lines for this weekend considering according to the crazy christian radio guy the world may end on sunday?”

In response, Mast wrote, “How about don’t turn this rape into a murder.”

Mast apologized Tuesday night in response to questioning from the Sun-Sentinel.

“A decade ago when I was in the Army, and following my injury, I made disgusting and inappropriate jokes that I am embarrassed to have associated with my name today,” Mast said.

“I am sorry about that part of who I was, and I strive every day to be a better example for my kids.”

While Mast referenced his 2010 injury, when he lost both of his legs after an IED explosion, the first post came in 2009, prior to that injury.

Mast spokesperson Brad Stewart clarified Mast’s remarks in a statement to Florida Politics Wednesday.

“The first comment was made when he was in the Army in 2009 and the second statement was made following his injury in 2011,” Stewart said. “That is what the statement says: ‘When I was in the Army, and following my injury…’”

Still, Book called Mast out for referencing the injury at all in explaining the posts.

“His armed service is heroic, but using his injuries as an excuse is not only unacceptable but indefensible, as the first post in question was made prior to sustaining the very injuries on which he blamed the grotesque remarks,” Book said.

“People make mistakes — but Mast’s comments over the course of several years go beyond a simple mistake or singular instance of poor judgment. Violence against women happens every 9 seconds in America and it is no laughing matter.”

Book is an outspoken advocate on child sexual abuse issues. She’s a survivor of childhood sexual abuse herself and launched the Lauren’s Kids Foundation prior to her legislative career to help provide resources to victims.

Book has backed multiple bills aimed at protecting sexual assault victims.

The Senator adds her name to a growing list of officials and organizations that have condemned Mast’s remarks. That list includes the Florida Democratic Party and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. EMILY’s List and Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay have also hammered Mast, with McKinlay calling for him to resign.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to


  • Derek Hankerson

    August 29, 2020 at 8:44 am

    Interesting…but this language is okay though

    Profile photo, opens profile page on Twitter in a new tab
    Pam Keith
    GOP: Yeah he’s dead. But it’s not a big deal because he was a “bad guy.”

    Is that REALLY the new rule they want? Killing is OK if it’s a “bad guy?”

    Is it now open season on:

    10:44 AM · Jun 10, 2020

  • Nancy Smith

    August 29, 2020 at 10:22 am

    Thank you, Sen. Lauren Book, for condemning Congressman Mast’s heinous remarks. Your support is important. I don’t see this rape culture as a party issue — Republican or Democrat — and I hope more people of good moral conscience will come forward to speak up against Brian Mast’s behavior.

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    August 29, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    He apologized for the offensive comments. No one is saying they weren’t offensive. Heinous? A far cry from heinous, but why miss a chance for hyperbole. He never did anything against any woman. There was nothing about violence in his comments. Book connects what he said with violence, and says his comments “over the course of several years ago” Huh? But it’s election season, and the Democrats jump on it. Shows how desperate they are.

    • Val Parkworst

      August 31, 2020 at 6:37 am

      “There was nothing about violence in his comments.” You must be thinking about the polite, kind and gentle versions of rape and murder.

      • Ron Book's DUI Report

        September 2, 2020 at 1:23 am

        You and Lauren Book may not be comedians, but you are both jokes. if Senator Bimbo can’t handle harsh words, she should go back to hiding under drunk daddy’s skirt.

        • Val Parkworst

          September 6, 2020 at 2:45 pm

          Bored in Nebraska?

Comments are closed.


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