May 8 (UPI) — Republican Bryan Slaton resigned from the Texas House of Representatives on Monday as his fellow lawmakers were ready to vote on his expulsion over allegations that he had committed sexual misconduct with a teenage legislative aide.
An investigation by a House committee found that Slaton, 45, had engaged in sexual harassment with an aide of his that was 19. Slaton allegedly engaged in inappropriate physical behavior and had sexual intercourse with the aide around the end of March or beginning of April, according to the probe.
Slaton also allegedly gave alcohol to an aide who was a minor, the report stated. Slaton, who is married, had invited the aide to his apartment for drinks on March 31, but other staffers went along after observing that the lawmaker had acted inappropriately toward the aide in the past. Slaton gave the teen and another woman rum and soda drinks until the teenager felt “pretty rough,” “really dizzy,” and had “split vision,” according to investigators.
According to the report, Slaton later allegedly made staffers who knew about the incident feel as though their jobs would be threatened if they said anything.
Slaton has been among the most conservative lawmakers in the Texas statehouse, championing legislation to ban drag shows to protect children from what he calls “perverted adults.”
According to a bio on this website, Slaton earned a masters degree in divinity and biblical languages from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and served as a “Youth and Family Minister” for 13 years.
Matt Rinaldi, chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, commended the House for its investigation into Slaton.
“The Republican Party of Texas commends the Texas House for responding swiftly and appropriately to the reprehensible actions of Representative Slaton,” Rinaldi said in a statement. “The misconduct described in the General Investigative Committee Report should never be tolerated and is proper grounds for expulsion. These actions have betrayed the trust that the people of Representative Slaton’s district put in him as an elected official, and he has rightly resigned.”