Texas Republican Resigns After Alleged Sexual Relationship With Teen
Bryan Slaton last year introduced an anti-“grooming” bill barring children from attending drag shows
Texas Rep. Bryan Slaton — a Republican known for introducing far-right legislation, including an anti-“grooming” bill to ban children from attending drag shows — resigned on Monday after a panel found he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 19-year-old intern.
Slaton’s resignation comes a day before the state legislature was slated to vote on whether to expel him from the House of Representatives. On Saturday, the House Committee on General Investigating released a damning 16-page report detailing Slaton’s “grave and serious” misconduct, unanimously recommending he be kicked out of the legislature.
“It has been an honor to represent my friends, neighbors and the great people and communities of House District 2,” Slaton wrote in a statement on Monday. “They voted overwhelmingly to send me to the Capitol as their representative in two elections, and I worked daily to meet their expectations. My decision today is to ensure that their expectations will continue to be met by a new representative who will work hard on their behalf.”
Slaton was accused last month of having “sexual relations” with a young intern he invited to his apartment in Austin, with The Texas Tribune reporting that he drank alcohol with the underage subordinate. The bipartisan House committee determined this was, in fact, the case, writing that the lawmaker “engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with a subordinate.”
Slaton did not acknowledge the incident in his statement announcing his resignation, and his attorney called the allegations against him “outrageous” and “false” last month.
Slaton had introduced several far-right bills prior to his resignation, including one in March calling for a vote on whether Texas should secede from the United States and another that would give tax cuts to heterosexual, property-owning couples who have children. Slaton has also been one of the state’s loudest voices decrying the sexualization of children. “This is just going to the grooming, the sexualization of our children,” he told OANN last year after introducing a bill to ban kids from attending drag shows. “This comes down to decency, morality and ethics, and children should not be the object of your sexualization, your desires.”