Austin, Texas – Bryan Slaton is no longer a member of the Texas House of Representatives.
In a historic move, the fellow members expelled him Tuesday, May 9, for sexual misconduct after an investigation found the married East Texas Republican had sex with a 19-year-old woman who worked for him, then tried to hide it.
In a unanimous vote, 147 to 0, the entire Texas House ejected Slaton, following a committee investigation that was spurred by a series of complaints filed in April.
The House General Investigative Committee, which unanimously recommended the deportation, revealed its findings Tuesday. Among those findings, Slaton, 45, who represented Hunt County, had sex in her Austin apartment with a 19-year-old staffer on March 31 and April 1, after getting her drunk.
“His teenage co-worker recalls ‘lots of booze’.” That she was feeling “pretty tough”. “Really stunned” and had “divided vision,” said Democratic Rep. Ann Johnson of Houston, a member of the General Investigative Committee.
The investigation found that the staffer was so intoxicated that he was unable to consent to sex.
“We have great concerns about her level of intoxication and her declaration to others that she would not, but that she was overserved,” Johnson said.
The investigation also revealed that Slaton gave alcohol to two staff friends, also 19, then threatened them if they said anything.
“The women staffers were in a panic, out of fear of retaliation and for their future,” said Republican Representative David Spiller of Jacksboro, also a committee member.
Slaton staff, including the woman involved, declined to speak directly with the committee.
“She thinks she loves him,” Johnson said.
Slaton filed a resignation letter on Monday, which did not mention the allegations.
“All of the facts alleged in the report are completely undisputed by Rep. Slaton,” Spiller said.
However, the House proceeded with the expulsion, the first since 1927, so Slaton’s removal would have been immediate.
“Mr. Slaton’s predatory conduct deserves such a consequence,” House Speaker Dade Phelan said.
A former youth pastor, Slaton introduced a handful of anti-LGBTQ bills during his more than two years in the House.
“I would say God has a standard that he wants us to live by,” Slaton said, speaking on FOX 7 in March. “I’m from East Texas. We have biblical values.”
“Mr. Slaton has come out as extremely conservative and is committed to upholding those values,” said Dr. Eddy Carder, a constitutional law professor at Prairie View A&M University.
Now, Carder says Slaton could find himself charged with one or more crimes
“[Making] alcohol available to a minor, the possibility of sexual assault or the ability to obstruct the investigation,” Carder said.
In a statement Tuesday evening, the Travis County Attorney’s Office said, “We are aware of the allegations, but there have currently been no charges referred by law enforcement.”
“This is a very, very serious matter, not just personally for him, but also legally and also reputationally for the House,” Carder said.
FOX 7 reached out to Slaton’s attorney and didn’t hear back until Tuesday evening.
Gov. Greg Abbott will set a date for a special election to fill Slaton’s seat.