Texas state Rep. Brian Slaton (R), a legislator who wants to “protect Texas kids” from “perverted” LGBTQ+ adults who want to “sexualize them,” has been accused of an “inappropriate relationship” that allegedly involved giving alcohol to an underage intern at his Austin condominium.
An internal complaint reported to the Texas legislature’s House General Investigating Committee alleges that Slaton contacted an unnamed intern after 10 p.m. on Friday, March 31 to invite her to his condo.
Slaton allegedly drank alcohol with the intern, a source told the Texas Tribune. In Texas, providing alcohol to a minor is a misdemeanor, punishable by a $4,000 maximum fine and up to a year in jail.
After the meet-up, Slaton allegedly showed the intern fake emails which purported to know details of their late-night meeting. These emails were a sort of “loyalty test,” the complaint said, and Slaton allegedly told the intern not to discuss what happened with anyone.
In a statement, Slaton’s attorney Patrick Short wrote, “We are aware of outrageous claims circulating online by second-tier media that make false claims against Representative Slaton. As a result, he has been advised to forward all inquiries in this matter—including any that may relate to a possible complaint—to his legal counsel.”
Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) said of the complaint, “The Texas House does not tolerate misconduct or other inappropriate behaviors and takes all allegations related to these issues seriously.” He said he expects “the matter to be addressed in a swift and thorough manner” following all the legislative chamber’s rules and conduct standards.
Slaton was reportedly absent from the chamber last Thursday during an important debate on the state budget, a budget to which he had added 27 amendments, the Tribune reported.
Two of his fellow Republicans, state Reps. Briscoe Cain and Steve Toth, have called on him to resign.
“I am absolutely furious at a [R]epublican whom I believe to be a sexual predator,” Cain wrote on Twitter. “I’ve never been so ticked off at another legislator.” He told the aforementioned publication that his tweet was about Slaton.
“What’s most troubling about the events of this story is that his behavior appears to be predatory,” Toth wrote on Twitter. “Unfortunately, his handlers have closed their eyes to the signs of his dysfunctional behavior because he was willing to do their bidding.”
Texas state Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos (D) wrote via Twitter, “The young adults working in the Capitol are vulnerable and predators readily target these young people. We owe it to these young professionals to set the standard and protect them from harm.”
Slaton is one of the most anti-LGBTQ+ legislators in the Lone Star State. He supports a law banning minors from drag shows, introduced legislation that would give tax cuts to heterosexual couples with lots of kids, and introduced legislation punishing abortions with the death penalty.
In an April 4 tweet, Slaton wrote, “We must protect Texas kids from sick adults who want to sexualize them. No drag shows. No porn in their libraries. No gender transition surgeries. Yes to letting kids be kids.”
Slaton has been married to a woman since 2017, though they filed for divorce in April 2022 and decided to stay together the following November. He also served as a youth and family minister, working with underage youth, for 13 years, his biography states.