November 1st, 2007
01:22 PM ET
7 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. Nick, Maryland

    Wow is this a news item or a piece from the editorial page? If anybody wonders why people think CNN has a liberal bias I don't think you have to look much further than the writer's completely undisguised glee....

    November 1, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  2. BC, The Buckle of the Bible Belt

    The republican party has been hijacked by the far right evangelicals who are cannot see both sides of any issue because their faith does not permit it. You cannot open a mind when it does not think for itself, and as long as the evangelicals keep spouting their double talk things like this will continue to be news.

    Wouldn't it be nice if the evangelicals started their own party and left the true republican base. They sure wouldn't have the power they have now, and this country might get back to a middle ground where things can actually get accomplished and we can move forward.

    November 1, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. Robert, Shelton CT

    This doesn't surprise me; and should make people question why these outted congressman are so homophobic to begin with, I think they are just trying to cover up their blatant homosexuality. There is nothing wrong with being gay or anything, but making people think you are against it and are one is hypocritical.

    November 1, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. John from America

    James, Your missing the point – It's the Republican Party Platform that lacks critical thinking and your part of the problem. So just take your lumps or work to reform your party's stance regarding "other people's business" .

    November 1, 2007 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  5. Elric the Mad, Prescott Valley Arizona

    It seems that I no longer need do dislike Republicans. (Although as a rule I still do) With their large scale support of anti-gay laws and ballot propositions all over the country it appears Republicans are self-loathing enough on their own.

    November 1, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  6. RightyTighty

    Hats off to the police, finding the truth is never easy when dealing with a gay and a prostitute..

    November 1, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  7. Dennis, San Diego, CA

    Wow. I did not know this: All not-outed Gays in office are Republicans? Speaker Pelosi and Senators Boxer and Feinstein are all from the predominately Democrat San Francisco Bay Area. I say do not waste one more minute representing the People of the United States. Instead, let's direct all resourses to "outing" all GOP hypocrites. Heck Iraq, oil prices, health care, immigration, climate change, etc. can wait until this scourge is resolved once and for all. I know I will sleep better.

    November 1, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. Tray Shelley, Canyon TX

    Just to correct some misconceptions out there .. it is not hypocritical to vote against gay issues and be a gay unless your constituency would be pro on those issues .. we have way too many legislators who are a law unto themselves and ignore their constituent's wishes in their voting .. elected officials are supposed to "represent" not further their own personal agendas

    November 1, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. Justine Arons, Eagle Idaho

    Reps are supposed to make and protect the laws of the United States not break them.. At least he had the good sense to resign unlike our ding bat Rep Larry Craig.

    November 1, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    The usual defenders of all things conservative have already come out and blamed this on the "liberal media" or are calling liberals hypocrites for jumping on this.

    And as usual, the real hypocrisy escapes their insight. The hypocrisy (as already pointed out wonderfully by a few others) that it is REPUBLICANS that preach morals and get caught doing this crap. Most Democrats think the bedroom should be separate from the job qualifications of an individual.

    Where's Ryan from IND with is "all Democrats hate America and should be hung" nonsense? Just a matter of time. Doesn't the ignorance and contradictions make everyone here sick?

    November 1, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. Tyler, Brooklyn, NY

    Another Republican hypocrite. Big surprise.

    November 1, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. Dan D., Norman, OK, Sooner Nation

    I'm reminded of a famous quote by Rodney King (remember him...got beat up by the LAPD several years ago?)

    "Can't we all just get along?" I don't see this as a Republican OR Democratic problem. No, it's more of a political problem that has been exasperated by the Right. Personally, I think we should hunt down these types, flush them out of their motel rooms and public restrooms, and make them admit that they are sick, perverted people who cannot control their behavior. That will teach them a lesson. WE all have more to worry about such as why the best college football team on the planet is now ranked #6 in the BCS. GO Sooners, You're the real Champs!!!!

    November 1, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. Gary Orthuber Oxnard, CA

    I suggest that these moralizing hypocrites go to Bankok. Makes me think how many of themhave gone there on "government" business on the taxpayers dime.
    Its alsmost as bad as Bush and his corrupt FOR PROFIT War.

    November 1, 2007 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. Bill, Manhattan,NYC

    I find all this fascinating!

    People in their 20's, like myself, will be the political power brokers in the years to come. Our cohort is very accepting to gay lifestyles, etc. So, when "we" are making the laws, most of the current decision makers will be retired or in nursing homes.

    Careful, or the baby boomer population will be denied their nursing home/retirement benefits when "we" take over!

    November 1, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. Bill, Roscoe, IL

    I consider myself a Republican but don't have an issue with what this guy did. It's a free market society - there are both suppliers and buyers - for everything. I do however have an issue with the Republican evangelisitic approach just about everything - war, abortion, morals, etc. - in fact, next year I will probably vote Democratic if and only if I can identity a candidate that will not take my guns and is not named Hillary.

    November 1, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  16. Zach, Madison WI

    James,

    "...50 (no exaggeration) articles on Larry Craig – but not ONE article about the Navy Seal that was awarded the Medal of Honor (a very rare and honorable event)… YOU call that objective reporting??"

    I call it good editing, from a ratings perspective. The former (like this story) is titilating, ironic, and humorous. The latter is none of these and nothing that will get attention, and thusly, ratings. That is what the media today is about, not some vast left-wing conspiracy – utterly insane nonsense given how long we had to hear about Bill Clinton's affair.

    "If you can't see the agenda – critical thinking has escaped you."

    Critical thinking involves looking at issues from many angles, not simply how they apply to the well-worn talking points. If you cannot see the irony of this situation and why that would make it a hot topic, I suggest it is you who ought to reacquaint yourself with the skill.

    November 1, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. Jon, Memphis TN

    Gay marriage was the boogey-man issue of the '04 race. I bet it doesn't come up so much in '08, ya think?

    November 1, 2007 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. fred

    I DON'T WANT A GAY INDIVIDUAL REPRESENTING MY VIEWS. THE PROBLEM WITH BEING GAY IS THAT THEY DON'T HAVE BABIES. THAT MEANS THAT THEY HAVE TO RECRUIT TO ACQUIRE MORE GAY'S FOR THEIR CAUSE. HOW CAN YOU BE A GAY POLITICIAN AND STILL REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE MAJORITY OF THE AMERICAN CULTURE, "WHICH IS NOT GAY". OBVIOUSLY THIS GUY WAS IN THE RECRUITING MOD. THEIR IS NO PLACE IN POLITICS FOR ANYONE THAT WANTS TO REPRESENT THE MAJORITY BY BEING A GAY INDIVIDUAL, EVENTUALLY HE, OR SHE, WILL FALL TO THEIR OWN SET OF RULES AND ATTEMPT TO EMPOWER THEIR OWN CAUSE WHICH IS NOT THE SAME CAUSE OF THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS AT THIS TIME. TRYING TO FORCE CONSTITUENTS TO LIVE A LIFE STYLE THAT THEY FIND REVOLTING IS NOT GOING TO WORK AND WILL ONLY HAMPER THE CAUSE OF THOSE GAYS THAT JUST WANT TO LIVE THEIR LIVES IN PIECE. FRED

    November 1, 2007 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. Brett Lee, Chicago IL

    Ho hum.... Just another gay republican.

    November 1, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  20. Yeu Godtmi, Madison, AL

    aaaaaaaahahahahahahahaha too bad.

    November 1, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  21. Mike L. Cairo, ny

    Why is everyone so quick to believe a male prostitute? Did he just proffer this story or is it leverage to get out of a hooking bust?

    November 1, 2007 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. Armando, Houston texas

    Can the republican party say "hypocrite"? these are the same people that came down on Clinton that he couldn't keep in his pants, well maybe so but at least Clinton did it with a woman. We have a President that God talks to him, what a joke this administration is.

    November 1, 2007 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  23. bukky, Baltimore, MD

    The only thing DISGUSTING about this is that he requested UNPROTECTED sex.

    this is 2007 don't put you parts in anyone without a latex (or sheepskin to those allergic to latex) covering

    November 1, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. Abdullah, Collin TX

    Homosexual Neo Cons need to go IRAN! When Sharia is implemented in USA, then this will no longer be problem! Allahu Akbar!

    November 1, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  25. me

    wouldn't it be so much better to be out and have the freedom to seek out healthy relationships rather than resorting to prostitution?

    November 1, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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