Republican resigns over gay-escort sex scandal

Posted on 01 Oct 2007 at 7:36pm
By Staff and Wire Reports

Police reports detail kinky, barebacking encounters



State Rep. Rick Curtis (left), Cody Castagna (right)

Washington State Rep. Richard Curtis, a Republican, announced Wednesday, Oct. 31, that he was resigning from the House after reports of his sexual encounter with a male escort became public.

“While I believe we’ve done some good and helped a lot of people during the time I served in the Legislature, events that have recently come to light have hurt a lot of people,” Curtis said in a statement released Wednesday by Washington House Republicans.

“I sincerely apologize for any pain my actions may have caused.”

Curtis went on to say the scandal has been “damaging to my family,” and that he did not 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.”

Police in Spokane, Wash., said Monday, Oct. 29 they are investigating an alleged extortion attempt reported by Curtis, a 48-year-old married father of two, after he told police he was the victim of a reported extortion attempt by another man at the Davenport Tower hotel.

Spokane Police spokeswoman Jennifer DeRuwe declined to release details early in the week, saying, “We don’t know the relationship between the two parties.”

But bloggers including Dan Savage and Joe My God have been more than willing to release all the details they can dig up, such as Curtis’ statement to police when he reported the alleged extortion attempt by Cody Castagna, 26, the man Curtis allegedly paid for sex.

“I committed no crime,” Curtis told The Columbian newspaper of Vancouver on Monday. “I did not solicit sex. I was trying to help somebody out.. … I am not gay. I have not had sex with a guy.”

But according to copies of police reports posted on Savage’s Web site, Curtis told police he met Castagna at an erotic bookstore and offered to “help him [Castagna] out” by giving him $100 for “gas money.” He said the two then went to a room in the Davenport Tower hotel where they engaged in anal sex, with Curtis as the receptive partner and Castagna wearing a condom, before they both fell asleep.

Curtis told police when he woke up, Castagna was gone, and had taken the legislator’s wallet. He said Castagna later called and said he had Curtis’ ID, knew he was a state representative and married, and that he had taken photos of Curtis with a cell phone. Curtis said Castagna threatened to go to Curtis’ wife with the photos unless Curtis paid him more money.

Castagna, however, had a different story. He told police that after the initial sex act, Curtis had offered him $1,000 to engage in anal sex without a condom, with Castagna as the receptive partner, and that after he finally agreed and the two had sex, Curtis refused to pay him.

He said he only took the photos and made the threatening call to get Curtis to pay him as he had promised.

Castagna also told police Curtis was “a freak” who had dressed in women’s lingerie during sex, according to reports posted online.

In a police report posted on Savage’s blog, an officer investigating at the hotel room found a used condom in the trashcan in the room. The officer also found a plastic bag containing a nylon rope, a plastic stethoscope “and other items,” according to the report. The officer said in the report that Curtis said those items had nothing to do with the sex act, and that Curtis seemed reluctant to let the officer see them.

Curtis later told police that Castagna must have drugged him and that he had no clear memory of what had happened. He said his attorney had advised him not to say anything else, but could not give police his lawyer’s name, saying he could not find the lawyer’s business card and could not remember his name.

According to a search warrant unsealed Tuesday, Oct. 30, a sales clerk at the Hollywood Erotic Boutique told police Curtis had been in the store in the early morning hours of Oct. 26. Referring to him as “the cross dresser,” she said he had told her that he was gay and was married with children, and that he had been seen wearing women’s lingerie while receiving oral sex from an unknown man in one of the store’s movie viewing booths.

As of Wednesday, Oct. 31, there had been no arrests in the case.

Curtis was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2004, representing a portion of southwestern Washington, and re-elected in 2006. His voting patterns suggest he is a fiscal and social conservative, and he has opposed gay rights legislation. He is a member of the state gambling commission and has criticized gambling. He has opposed using state dollars to provide health care for children of illegal immigrants. His online biography said he owns a business that “provides instruction for advanced cardiac life support” at a Vancouver hospital. The biography said Curtis is an Air Force veteran and refers to him as a husband, father and former La Center City councilman. He is from New Mexico and moved to Washington 11 years ago.

The Columbian newspaper in southwestern Washington where Curtis lives, has confirmed that Castagna described in some reports as a male escort and porn actor has faced multiple charges in juvenile court in Spokane and King County involving assault, theft, burglary and malicious mischief. In 2001, according to the newspaper, he pleaded guilty to a forgery charge as an adult.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 2, 2007

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