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Staffer alleged in complaint that state Rep. Bryan Slaton had sex with Capitol intern

By Renzo Downey, The Texas Tribune

Staffer alleged in complaint that state Rep. Bryan Slaton had sex with Capitol intern” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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A Capitol staffer alleged in an internal complaint that state Rep. Bryan Slaton, R-Royse City, had “sexual relations” with an intern two weeks ago.

The new details of the allegation come from the complaint filed by a legislative staffer to the House General Investigating Committee. Earlier this week, The Texas Tribune reviewed excerpts of the complaint, which alleged that Slaton, 45, was having an “inappropriate relationship” with an intern who is under the age of 21. The complaint said Slaton called her after 10 p.m. on March 31 and invited her to his Austin apartment.

A full version of the complaint, first posted on The Quorum Report, states the intern disclosed that she had sexual relations with Slaton that night.

Another person with direct knowledge of the situation who works in the Capitol corroborated the complaint and said that Slaton and the intern drank alcohol together. Slaton, one of the most far-right social conservatives of the Legislature, has been married to his wife since 2017.

[Two GOP Texas House members call for Rep. Bryan Slaton to resign]

The complaint alleges that sometime after the night at his condo, Slaton brought the intern into an office and flirted with her again. The same day, Slaton allegedly showed the intern emails from his personal account that accused him of having sex with a staffer, according to the complaint. The staffer believed Slaton wrote the emails as a test to see if she would report him. Slaton told her and her friends to keep quiet, according to the report.

Slaton and his attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday evening. Earlier this week, Slaton’s attorney issued a statement calling allegations against his client “outrageous” and “false.”

Julie Springer, an attorney for the intern, also did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Texas Tribune is not identifying the intern.

A spokesperson for House Speaker Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, declined to comment. Rep. Andrew Murr, the Junction Republican who chairs the House General Investigating Committee, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The House General Investigating Committee, which has the power to conduct inquiries into state agencies, departments and officials and has the ability to draft articles of impeachment against lawmakers, is investigating Slaton’s case. On Friday, the panel met and issued four subpoenas but would not disclose the investigations or people involved.

At least two House Republicans have called for Slaton to resign this week: Briscoe Cain of Deer Park and Steve Toth of The Woodlands. Both Cain and Toth are staunch conservatives who typically align with Slaton ideologically.

At least one House Democrat, Ana-Maria Ramos of Richardson, has also called for Slaton to resign. This week, Sen. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, drafted bill language that would target members of the Legislature who engage in grooming behavior with victims under the age of 21. He tweeted Thursday that he is looking for ways to hold lawmakers accountable for inappropriate behavior.

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