Political News

4 sex scandals linked to GOP at Oklahoma Capitol in 2017

Posted September 13

— A Democratic schoolteacher who defeated a Republican businessman in a special election for an Oklahoma state House seat in a traditionally GOP district tapped into growing voter frustration over state budget problems and several recent sex scandals involving Republicans at the state Capitol. A look at four sex scandals from this year:

STATE SEN. BRYCE MARLATT

Republican state Sen. Bryce Marlatt of the western Oklahoma city of Woodward resigned from office Tuesday after being booked on one felony count of sexual battery. He was released on a $5,000 bond. Marlatt was charged after an Uber driver told police he groped her after she picked him up from an Oklahoma City restaurant on June 26. Marlatt has said he was shocked by the allegations. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

EX-GOVERNOR'S AIDE TRAVIS BRAUER

Charges were filed Tuesday against a former staffer for Republican Gov. Mary Fallin after authorities say he was investigated on allegations that he took a photo or video up a woman's skirt at the State Capitol. Travis Goss Brauer faces charges of offering false or fraudulent evidence, a felony, and a misdemeanor charge of destruction of evidence after authorities allege he destroyed or altered a mobile phone and a laptop that were part of an investigation by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Court records do not indicate whether Brauer has an attorney.

EX-STATE SEN. RALPH SHORTEY

Former Republican state Sen. Ralph Shortey of Oklahoma City was charged last week in a four-count federal indictment with child sex trafficking and producing and transporting child pornography. Shortey had resigned in March after being charged in state court with child prostitution after police say they found him in a hotel with a 17-year-old boy. If convicted of the federal charges, Shortey could face up to life in prison. His attorney did not respond to telephone calls seeking comment on the case.

EX-STATE REP. DAN KIRBY

Former GOP state Rep. Dan Kirby of Tulsa resigned in February after being accused of sexually harassing two former legislative assistants. Kirby admitted asking one legislative aide to send him topless photos and accompany him to a strip club, but he maintained the relationship was consensual and he denied sexually harassing anyone. He was not charged criminally but his resignation came just days after a special House committee recommended he be expelled from office.

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