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Texas Republican resigns after sexual accusations

 May 9, 2023

A married GOP state representative in Texas has resigned after an investigation found he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 19-year-old female staffer.

The allegations surfaced last month against Bryan Slaton, and the completed internal investigation confirmed the accusations, as reported by Daily Mail.

The incident involved Slaton providing the young woman with alcohol and engaging in a sexual encounter in his Austin apartment.

Investigation Findings

The internal investigation, led by Judge Catherine Evans and other experts, found that Slaton and the young staffer, identified only as Sophie A, engaged in sexual activity.

Sophie A, took the emergency contraceptive Plan B after the encounter and was ordered to keep quiet by Slaton.

The investigation's report stated that the aide "could not effectively consent to intercourse and could not indicate whether it was welcome or unwelcome."

Furthermore, the investigation revealed that Slaton had invited young subordinates to his apartment near the Capitol multiple times before singling out Sophie A.

As Sophie A's friends became concerned about Slaton's advances, the 19-year-old legislative intern confided in them about the incident in April. She was given rum and coke during this encounter and stayed at Slaton's condominium.

Expulsion Recommendation

During a legislative meeting, Rep. Andrew Murr, the investigation committee's chair, recommended Slaton be the first state representative expelled since 1927.

Murr stated that Slaton engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with a subordinate, induced by alcohol provided by the representative.

Slaton also acted to influence the subordinate and multiple witnesses to obstruct the investigation. The committee recommended Slaton's expulsion to protect the integrity of the legislative body and provide accountability.

Resignation and Response

Under mounting pressure, Slaton submitted a resignation letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, neglecting to mention the allegations against him.

In the letter, Slaton expressed his gratitude to his colleagues and constituents and his desire to spend more time with his family.

"I am grateful to my many colleagues in the House who fought with me to improve life for all Texans, and to those who, even when we could not agree. I look forward to spending more time with my young family and will continue to find ways to serve my community and all citizens across our great state," Slaton wrote.

Personal Life

Slaton has been married to his wife, Sharmen, for over five years, and they have a young son. The couple filed for divorce in April 2022 but agreed to cease the divorce in November. Slaton's resignation came on Monday afternoon, and he was not among those on the House floor earlier in the day.

Possible Consequences

Though Slaton has submitted his resignation, the situation is not entirely resolved.

Murr wrote on Facebook, "Though Representative Slaton has submitted his resignation from office, under Texas law, he is considered to be an officer of this state until a successor is elected and takes the oath of office to represent Texas House District 2."