November 1st, 2007
01:22 PM ET
9 months ago

State GOP lawmaker in gay sex scandal

Watch CNN's Carol Costello report on the latest scandal.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – It has been a truly scandalous few months for the GOP - for the third time in three months a Republican lawmaker is accused of soliciting sex with another man.

This time it's Washington State Rep. Richard Curtis - whose “I’m not gay” defense sounds a lot like Florida State Rep. Bob Allen's and Idaho Senator Larry Craig's.

Curtis told the Columbian newspaper in Spokane that he did not have sex with the man.

But the Spokane police department tell CNN a different story.

They say that on October 26, Curtis, dressed in women's lingerie, is alleged to have approached a young man in the "Hollywood Erotic Boutique."

The rest of the story is contained in a graphic 50 page police document. The young man alleges Curtis offered him $1,000 for unprotected sex at a nearby hotel.

And he says, "At the conclusion of the sexual activities, Curtis fell asleep."

The police report says the man, Cody Castagna, then took Curtis’ wallet - in order to extort money from the representative - and "threatened to publicly expose Richard Curtis' gay lifestyle to his wife."

At that point, police say Curtis called on an officer to investigate, hoping the incident would go away once police nabbed a suspect for taking his wallet.

Instead the media got wind of the case and found Curtis' alleged sex partner-who went public with his attorney.

"He gave me his wallet…as collateral for what he promised me" said Castagna.

It's a particularly ugly drama unfolding around another conservative Republican lawmaker. Like Florida State Rep. Bob Allen, who has pled not guilty to a charge of soliciting gay sex in July and Sen. Larry Craig, who is trying to withdraw his guilty plea on a charge of disorderly conduct in a restroom at Minneapolis Airport.

Curtis is married with children - and votes conservatively. He has voted against a domestic partnership bill, and a bill that would have outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation.

On Wednesday he announced he was resigning his seat and said in a statement: “Events that have recently come to light have hurt a lot of people. I sincerely apologize for any pain my actions may have caused.

“This has been damaging to my family, and I don't want to subject them to any additional pain that might result from carrying out this matter under the scrutiny that comes with holding public office.”

The Spokane County prosecutor is considering whether to bring a charge of extortion against Castagna.

– CNN's Carol Costello


Filed under: GOP
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    I suggest a preemptive outing of all these guys (and gals?) by those who have known of their peccadilloes for a long time, supported by hidden video to document the facts.

    November 1, 2007 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  2. lou, Miami Florida

    Another sexually repress republican hypocrite...

    November 1, 2007 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. Terry, El Paso, TX

    There is no reason for this man to resign. Men's sexual fantasies are programmed into them while they are teenagers, and they don't have much choice about what kinds of sex-play they desire. We might be surprised to learn how many of our lawmakers and other officials are wearing lingerie beneath their business suits and uniforms.

    Many men with non-standard sexual desires are drawn to Conservatism and fundamentalist moral codes because they are thereby provided with cover (who would suspect them?) and their guilt is offset by the good deeds they do.

    What bothers me the most is the accusation that he offered a young man a thousand bucks for access to his charms and then stiffed the boy. That kind if fiscal irresponsiblity and dishonesty is something we have come to expect from Conservatives. If that is the truth, then the least he can do is to cough up the cash. After all, what is more sacred than a contract?

    November 1, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. Tim, Reston, VA

    With so many repressed homosexual Republicans coming out of the closet, perhaps the Republican Party will consider supporting equal rights for their closeted contingent?

    Do you think these closet cases can out run their gayness by voting against equal rights for gay people?

    Wouldn't it be healthier for them to quit cowering, and step out of the closet with confidence?

    They may just find that their constituents don't really care that they are gay.

    Doesn't everybody know someone who is gay (family, friend, co-worker)?

    I hope Americans (Republicans included) have come to realize that gay people are just as boring as they are.

    November 1, 2007 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  5. Antonio, Tempe AZ

    I'm surprised that moralizing Republicans getting caught in gay sex scandals is still considered news.

    November 1, 2007 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. Ga Voter

    If I want to marry my sister or mother or dog, can I then say I don't have equal rights too? Isn't that a civil rights issue??

    November 1, 2007 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. Flagship, Hartford, CT

    I agree with Terry from El Paso, TX,
    ...What bothers me the most is the accusation that he offered a young man a thousand bucks for access to his charms and then stiffed the boy. That kind if fiscal irresponsiblity and dishonesty is something we have come to expect from Conservatives. If that is the truth, then the least he can do is to cough up the cash. After all, what is more sacred than a contract?

    November 1, 2007 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. Tom Dedham, Mass

    This is funny as hell, first the guy is a dirtbag, fine, over and done.

    This guy is a nobody in any political circle and many of you are going to hammer this nobody as he is a Republican, fine, HE deserves it.

    But I do find it odd that when about a month ago the DEMOCRATIC Mayor of Atlantic city runs away for two weeks and is in hiding, it never made the ticker.

    Around the same time TWELVE DEMOCRATS from New Jersey were charged with bribery, payoffs, extortion etc, etc and again it NEVER made the ticker.

    Just making a point, you can start the ALL Republicans are hypocrites frenzy even though you know nothing about this loser.

    Can I then make the "leap" that ALL Democrats are nutbags who believe that their own government blew up buildings and ALL Democrats believe in UFO's?

    November 1, 2007 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. Carsten, Seattle wa

    Who cares what his sexual preferences are! People have the right to do whatever they want behind closed doors. And who are we to judge other people based on their desires?
    Yeah, it all sounds good. Now if only we could make the GOP live by those words, especially now, seeing that a good number of them are themselves of an "alternative" sexual orientation. Leave him alone, and maybe he'll start being a little more open minded...

    November 1, 2007 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    I'd just like to say that Ga Voter, who wants to marry his dog, must be from Tiger Ridge. The rest of us don't act that way. You got the hots for Mom, that's your problem, but ya know why it ain't a big problem for the rest of us? We got no interest in marrying Sis or Fido like you do. If there were a million of you, all in love with Bowser and Rex, I'd say the law should begin to consider your petition.

    . . . but right now you're just some guy in Tiger Ridge, givin' yer dog a real long slow speculative look. The rest of us are turning away in horror.

    November 1, 2007 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. RightyTighty

    Unlike the dems, reps encourage this type reporting. It effectively weeds out the perverts in hawks clothing..

    November 1, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. who cares, austin ,tx

    Im taking Hillarys' stance "this is a vast left wing consipracy", seriously who is this guy, and why all of a sudden do the tolerant left all of a suddent develope a case of homophobia. If he is gay who cares what legislation he votes for, isnt it his right to both like men, and then vote against gays, who cares if he is a hypocrit, alot of parents did drugs as kids, then tell their kids not to do drugs are they hypocrits?

    November 1, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. Richard, West Palm Beach, FL

    "But I do find it odd that when about a month ago the DEMOCRATIC Mayor of Atlantic city runs away for two weeks and is in hiding, it never made the ticker.

    Around the same time TWELVE DEMOCRATS from New Jersey were charged with bribery, payoffs, extortion etc, etc and again it NEVER made the ticker.".
    - - -
    Regardless of party, if the 12 New Jersey officials are guilty, they need to be sent to prison. However, to correct the record, there was one Republican in the 12. It should also be mentioned that the mayor supposedly disappeared to check himself into a facility for substance abuse and mental problems.

    The reason that these cases of homosexuality by Republicans becomes an ongoing news story is not the sexual preference, but the unending hypocrisy. If Republicans didn't make such big issues out of condemning homosexuals and praising their own supposed "family values", the exposure of their lack of true belief in what they were preaching would not be so newsworthy. If many of them were honest about themselves and humanity this wouldn't be an issue.

    November 1, 2007 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Raulin

    Republican, hypocrite two words same meaning. The leader of The Nation lies everytime he moves his lips. What can we expect of his fallowers.
    There is always "The Bount Hunter"

    November 1, 2007 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  15. jvl,Springfield, VA

    The Party of "family" values strikes again! What will O'Reilly say about this?

    November 1, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. Marty, Sacramento CA

    While I think that the guy is entitled to hold public office whether he is gay or straight, this is a sex scandal, and if it tarnishes his ability to lead in an honorable, respectful way, then he should step down.

    It's really pathetic to me that Republicans (and conservatives in general) detest gays so much that so many among their ranks have to hide their true feelings just to get by.

    November 1, 2007 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. Karen, Boca Raton, FL

    As Richard from WPB wrote:
    The reason that these cases of homosexuality by Republicans becomes an ongoing news story is not the sexual preference, but the unending hypocrisy. If Republicans didn't make such big issues out of condemning homosexuals and praising their own supposed "family values", the exposure of their lack of true belief in what they were preaching would not be so newsworthy. If many of them were honest about themselves and humanity this wouldn't be an issue.

    Bravo. I couldn't care less about this guy or who he sleeps with. What I do care about is the platform on which Republicans run – morally superior, more religious – and it's the Republicans who always seem to be the ones closeting their true sexual desires. I'm so sick of the whole "we're morally superior" – plenty of Dems/Independents go to church and try to live morally decent lives, and yet somehow, the Republicans have become the "morally superior party." And then instead of seizing on the real issue of the story, people focuse on the fact that he may or may not be gay. Being gay isn't a crime. Being a hypocrite and attaining public office, while not a legal crime, is still a moral crime. The hypocrisy is ridiculous.

    As always, the proof is in the pudding. You can't claim you're a good Christian and then behave in a matter completely opposite. Walk your talk, or else shut up. a True Christian does not need to lie, cheat, hide, mislead, cover up, or live their lives hidden behind a title.

    November 1, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. tiddle, nyc, ny

    To Tom Dedham, don't confuse yourself. Richard has it exactly right. It's not a matter of sexual preference or political affiliation, but rather, it's the GOP hypocrisy that is so disgusting, when all these morally righteous GOP would come out, touting families and marriage between a man and a women and openly attack gay/lesbian.

    November 1, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. James, Phoenix AZ

    LOL ... CNN!!

    I bet you guys are breathing a sigh of relief. Here it looked like you MIGHT have to report on the ground-swell of concern about Hillary and her double talk.

    No – NOW you can make the front page: Republican Sex Scandal.

    WHEW! That was close.

    November 1, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. Daniel, NY

    Stuff like this is going to have to cause Republicans to be depressed and unenthusiastic in 2008.
    Just look at today's FLORIDA poll that was just released that has Clinton beating all Republicans.

    November 1, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. brenda,boston,ma

    How about this?

    http://tech.msn.com/products/articlepcw.aspx?cp-documentid=5586501

    November 1, 2007 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  22. Jim, Akron Oh

    They claim to be the moral majority, what a joke!!

    November 1, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  23. Chad KCMO

    HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAH Republican HHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH I love it!!!! HAAHHAHAHAHA

    November 1, 2007 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  24. River, George, Washington

    Here you go fact checker, the Columbian operates out of Vancouver, Washington, not Spokane. Geographicaly speaking, this is because the Columbia river goes through Vancouver and not Spokane.

    November 1, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. PSK Lakeside, AZ

    That he may or may not be gay is irrelevant- the fact that he illegally solicited for sex IS relevant. The first is his own dang business- the second shows a complete disregard for the laws I assume he vowed to uphold when elected to government office. Not nice to break the law while accepting a government paycheck. Heck- even those on Social Security get their alotments cancelled when they commit a crime. (or at least, when they are caught).

    November 1, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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