Rep. Bryan Slaton resigns before historic expulsion vote in Texas House

Bryan Slaton is no longer a member of the Texas House of Representatives. 

In a historic move, 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 cover it up.

By a unanimous, 147 to 0 vote, the full Texas House expelled Slaton, following a committee probe that was spurred by a series of complaints filed in April.

The House General Investigating Committee, which unanimously recommended expulsion, revealed its findings Tuesday. Among those findings, Slaton, 45, who represented Hunt County, had sex in his Austin apartment with a 19-year-old staffer on March 31 and April 1, after getting her drunk.

"His teenage staffer recalls ‘a lot of alcohol". That she felt ‘pretty rough’. ‘Really dizzy’ and had ‘split vision’," said Democratic Rep. Ann Johnson of Houston, a member of the General Investigating Committee.

The probe found the staffer was so drunk, she wasn’t able to consent to sex.

"We have great concerns about her level of intoxication and about her statement to others that she would not have done it but for the fact that she was overserved," said Johnson.


The probe also revealed that Slaton gave alcohol to two of the staffer’s friends, also 19, then threatened them if they said anything.

"The female staffers were panicked, in fear of retaliation, and in fear of their futures," said Republican Rep. David Spiller of Jacksboro, also a member of the committee.

Slaton’s staff, including the woman involved, refused to speak directly to the committee.

"She believes she loves him," said Johnson.

Slaton submitted a resignation letter Monday, which did not mention the allegations.

"All the facts alleged in the report are completely undisputed by Rep. Slaton," said Spiller.

Still, the House proceeded with expulsion—the first since 1927—so Slaton’s removal would be immediate.

"Mr. Slaton's predatory conduct merits such a consequence," said House Speaker Dade Phelan.

A former youth pastor, Slaton introduced a handful of anti-LGBTQ bills during his two-plus years in the House.

"I would say God has a standard He wants us to live by," said Slaton, speaking to FOX 7 in March. "I come from East Texas. We have biblical values."

"Mr. Slaton held himself out to be extremely conservative, and that he was committed to supporting 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 possibility of obstructing the investigation," said Carder.

In a statement Tuesday evening, the Travis County Attorney’s Office said: "We are aware of the allegations, but no charges have been referred to us by law enforcement at this time."

"This is a very, very serious matter, not only personally for him, but also legally and also reputationally for the House," said Carder.

FOX 7 reached out to Slaton’s lawyer, and had not heard back as of Tuesday night.

Gov. Greg Abbott will set a date for a special election to fill Slaton’s seat.