“Anti-grooming” Texas Republican resigns after plying teen with alcohol & allegedly raping her

Texas state Rep. Bryan Slaton Photo: YouTube screenshot

Texas state Rep. Bryan Slaton (R) – one of the most vocal “anti-grooming” members of the Texas House of Representatives – has resigned just before a vote was held to expel him from the chamber following revelations of his inappropriate relationship with a teen who he allegedly plied with alcohol and sexually assaulted.

“His resignation gave no apology to the young woman he violated, his wife whom he betrayed or his district that he failed,” said state Rep. Steve Toth (R), discussing Slaton’s letter of resignation. “No remorse. No acceptance of responsibility. He’s the victim that rides off in to the sunset. That was the resignation of a narcissist.”

An internal complaint last month filed with the Texas legislature’s House General Investigating Committee alleges that Slaton contacted an unnamed aide after 10 p.m. on Friday, March 31 to invite her to his condo in Austin.

Slaton allegedly drank alcohol with the 19-year-old aide, giving her a large rum and coke and refilling it twice. In Texas, providing alcohol to a minor is a misdemeanor, punishable by a $4,000 maximum fine and up to a year in jail.

At the time, Slaton called the complaint “outrageous” via his lawyer. But he felt pressure to resign after the House General Investigating Committee released a 16-page report on Saturday that found that Slaton had engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct.

The report said that the aide was so drunk that she couldn’t “effectively consent to intercourse and could not indicate whether it was welcome or unwelcome.” He and the aide had unprotected sex and he drove her home after midnight. She got Plan B at a drugstore to prevent pregnancy, a medication that Slaton opposes.

After the meet-up, Slaton allegedly showed the aide 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 aide not to discuss what happened with anyone.

The report also found other instances of Slaton giving alcohol to the aide and another woman under the age of 21.

The committee recommended Slaton be expelled from the chamber.

By Sunday, two of the three counties in his district and over half of the 62-member State Republican Executive Committee had called for him to resign. Even Texas Right to Life PAC, an anti-choice group, revoked its endorsement of him.

A vote was scheduled for today, but yesterday Slaton turned in a letter of resignation to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R). The letter didn’t mention the inappropriate relationship and instead said that he was resigning to spend more time with his family.

Slaton was one of the most vocal opponents of LGBTQ+ people in the Texas legislature, accusing drag queens of “grooming” young people. He supported 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.”

In 2022, Slaton called for a ban on drag performances in the presence of minors after far-right protestors harassed families going to an all-ages drag show in Dallas.

“Drag shows are no place for a child,” he wrote on Twitter at the time. “I would never take my children to a drag show and I know Speaker Dade Phelan and my Republican colleagues wouldn’t either.”

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.

Slaton remains an officer of the state until Gov. Abbott calls a special election to fill the vacancy, which can’t happen before the legislative session ends this month.

“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,” Republican Party of Texas Chair Matt Rinaldi said. “We are encouraged that this investigation signals that the House has entered a new era of accountability where all members will be held to the same fair and high standards.”

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