Apr 17, 2023 - News

Anti-"grooming" Texas lawmaker accused of sex with intern

Rep. Bryan Slaton. Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

A staffer at the Texas Capitol alleges that state Rep. Bryan Slaton, a Republican from Royse City, had sex with an intern, according to the Texas Tribune.

The latest: A complaint a legislative staffer filed with the House General Investigating Committee alleges that Slaton had an "inappropriate relationship" with an intern, including inviting the intern — who is under 21 — to his Austin apartment on the night of March 31, per the Tribune.

  • The complaint alleges they drank alcohol and had "sexual relations."
  • Later, Slaton allegedly showed the intern emails accusing him of having sex with a staffer and asked the intern to keep quiet, according to the complaint.

The big picture: Slaton, a former youth pastor who has described himself as "a bold and brave Christian-conservative," filed a bill earlier this year that would ban children from drag shows.

  • "This is just going to the grooming, the sexualization of our children," Slaton said last summer. "This comes down to decency, morality and ethics, and children should not be the object of your sexualization, your desires."

Of note: Slaton has been married since 2017 and filed for divorce in April 2022. The couple agreed to cease the divorce in November, per the Tribune.

What they're saying: Slaton's attorney issued a statement last week calling the allegations "outrageous" and "false."

  • Slaton didn't reply to Axios' request for comment.

Between the lines: After the allegations against Slaton first surfaced, Sen. Drew Springer, a Republican from Muenster, introduced an amendment to a bill that would make it a first-degree felony for members of the Legislature to engage in "grooming behavior" with victims under the age of 21.

Yes, but: The amendment wasn't adopted.

What we're watching: The House General Investigating Committee is investigating Slaton's case, according to the Tribune.

  • At least two House Republicans and one House Democrat have called for Slaton to resign.

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