Texas lawmaker who called drag shows a threat to kids resigns after sex with teen intern

Bryan Slaton, a Republican lawmaker in Texas who wanted to ban drag shows to “protect kids from being sexually exploited”, has resigned after having sex with a 19-year-old intern he’d plied with alcohol.

In a report, dated 6 May, the Texas House of Representatives general investigating committee unanimously recommended Slaton be expelled from the state legislature.

A vote on the matter was expected to take place on 9 May, but Slaton resigned the day before, CBS News reported.

The report, which has been released publically, shows that the 45-year-old married representative invited the young intern, identified only as Sophie A, to his apartment late on the night of 31 March, along with two other young female interns (who did not work for Slaton) and one of their boyfriends.

Sophie A said that during the time at Slaton’s home she consumed “a lot of alcohol” to the point of having “split vision”.

Neither she nor Bryan Slaton denied having sex on the morning of 1 April.

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Two days later, he showed her an email, saying “everyone involved has to stay quiet”, which she took as a threat.

Sophie A told the investigation committee that she did not know who sent the email. However, one of the other interns, known as Emily J, believed it came from Slaton because it mirrored language he had used with Sophie A and was originally sent on the day the pair had sex.

Slaton, who entered the Texas House of Representatives in January 2021, introduced a bill in March aimed at banning drag performances in the presence of children.

At the time, he said: “The states have a compelling interest in protecting children, particularly from sexual exploitation.”

During his time as a state lawmaker, he also introduced a bill to ban abortions, leaving women and physicians performing the procedure possibly facing the death penalty, according to The Texas Tribune. The bill ultimately failed.

Another of Slaton’s bills proposed giving straight married couples cuts in property tax if they had four “qualifying” children, with the amount increasing for each child the couple had after that – “incentivising” what he called a healthy family unit.

Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of sexual violence. If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.

Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.