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04/19/2007


Charges Dropped Against Cody Castagna in WA Extortion Case

All charges against Cody Castagna, the escort involved in the late-night sexual rendezvous with former Washington state Rep. Richard Curtis which led to the lawmaker's subsequent resignation, have been dropped after Curtis sent a letter to prosecutors indicating that he does not wish to proceed with the case. In December, Castagna was charged on six counts by Spokane County prosecutors including theft, conspiracy, and extortion. He pleaded not guilty on all six counts.

CastagnaSaid the letter: "After speaking with the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney's Office and discussing my further participation of the prosecution of the defendants, I am requesting that I not be requested to testify...My wife, daughters, and son-in-law have paid a high price for my actions and also the actions of the defendants...We, as a family, have weighed the costs vs. benefits of testifying and have decided that going through the criminal process would be more detrimental than good...My wife, daughters and son-in-law have paid a very high price for my actions and also the actions of the defendants...My family and I have found ourselves closer as a result and are settled into a new chapter in our lives and are moving past this incident...I am sure you can understand that this has been a very traumatic event for all of us."

Curtis resigned from his position as a state legislator last October because of the scandal.

Early last month, Curtis was ordered to meet with Castagna and face a tough new line of questioning. Curtis is apparently in exile "at an undisclosed location" and the taxpayers were to foot the bill for that trip. This may have been part of Curtis' decision to drop the charges. Watch the news clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Charges Dropped Against Cody Castagna in WA Extortion Case" »


Cody Castagna Pleads Not Guilty in Lawmaker's Extortion

Cody Castagna, the escort involved in the late-night sexual rendezvous with former Washington state Rep. Richard Curtis which led to the lawmaker's subsequent resignation, who in December was charged on six counts by Spokane County prosecutors including theft, conspiracy, and extortion, has pleaded not guilty on all six counts.

CastagnaThe AP reports: "Prosecutors contend in court documents that Castagna and three other men attempted to blackmail former Rep. Richard Curtis in October. Curtis, a Republican from the southwest Washington town of LaCenter, said in police reports that he and Castagna had sex in a hotel room and that Castagna later took his wallet and threatened to expose him publicly if he did not pay $1,000."

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque has set a trial date of April 7th.

Curtis, a married man who exposed his secret life by making the initial reports of Castagna's crime to the police, resigned at the end of October. Not only did the incident ruin his career and embarrass him, it exposed him as a hypocrite with an anti-gay voting record: "Elected to the state House of Representatives in 2004, Curtis has voted like a fiscal and social conservative. This spring, he voted against domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian couples. Last year, he opposed a gay rights bill that banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."


Cody Castagna Charged with 6 Counts in Richard Curtis Blackmail

Cody Castagna, the escort involved in the late-night sexual rendezvous with former Washington state Rep. Richard Curtis which led to the lawmaker's subsequent resignation, has been charged on six counts by Spokane County prosecutors including theft, conspiracy, and extortion.

CastagnaAccording to KXLY Spokane: "Warrants for four men – including Castagna and his brother Joey – were issued Wednesday. The three other individuals suspected of involvement in the case all face related charges. Defendants will be called Wednesday and asked to surrender themselves before officers take matters into their own hands. The word of prosecutors officially charging Castagna with illegal activity comes two days after an email was sent out asking potential past victims of Castagna’s to come forward. 'There were multiple threats and multiple payoffs in this instance and it just seems like this was not the first time,' Spokane Police Sergeant Joe Peterson said of the suspected blackmail that Castagna and his cohorts were accused of orchestrating in exchange for keeping the sexual encounter a secret. 'And we've been told by other people that this is not the first time the suspects in this case have done this type of thing.' For his part, Castagna has long maintained his innocence in the case."

Curtis, a married man who exposed his secret life by making the initial reports of Castagna's crime to the police, resigned at the end of October. Not only did the incident ruin his career and embarrass him, it exposed him as a hypocrite with an anti-gay voting record: "Elected to the state House of Representatives in 2004, Curtis has voted like a fiscal and social conservative. This spring, he voted against domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian couples. Last year, he opposed a gay rights bill that banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."

Backstory...
Richard Curtis, Cody Castagna, and Gay Extortion in Spokane [tr]
Washington GOP Rep. Richard Curtis Resigns Amid Gay Sex Scandal [tr]
Washington State GOP Rep. in Alleged Male Hustler Extortion Plot [tr]
Washington State GOP Rep. Curtis Exposed by Sordid Police Report [tr]
Washington State Rep's Alleged Extorter Has a Porn Past? [tr]


News: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Dirty Laundry, Woody Harrelson

road.jpg Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a blogger.

Dirtylaundryroad.jpg Movie theater in heart of Chelsea in NYC closes first black gay film to play there in years despite huge gross, according to Keith Boykin: "The news surprised the film's producers, who had set a goal of grossing a respectable $4,000 to $5,000 per theater, or per screen average (PSA). Instead, they were pleased to gross more than $12,000 at the Chelsea Theater alone...The New York theater management expressed concern that 'the producers may have bought the gross.' They expressed suspicion because there were $1,500 in advance ticket sales for Sunday before the theater opened. The theater called this '"highly abnormal for a Sunday movie.' But the advance ticket sales were actually the result of an extensive viral campaign that included Internet postings, blog articles, email campaigns and even text messages. In addition, the producers promoted the movie on radio and television throughout the week leading up to the opening. The real problem is that the theater can't believe that black gay people would actually come to the movies in such numbers because they don't realize we exist."

road.jpg The Hills' season finale announcement packs about as much punch as the show itself.

Parisoomparoad.jpg Paris Hilton assists in rescue of injured Oompa-Loompa.

road.jpg Police probe possible gay-bashing in Somerville, Massachusetts: "A man allegedly started taunting Daloia and her group of six friends earlier in the evening at the On the Hill Tavern in Magoun Square. Gorton said the same man then confronted several of the women at a Dunkin' Donuts, saying, 'You're a [expletive] lesbian' and the like while his sister flashed her breasts. Daloia was knocked unconscious, [Don Gorton, chairman of the Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project] said; her friends, he added, received "bruises all over their faces and parts of their bodies." Daloia has been experiencing post-traumatic stress since the incident, he continued. She now fears for her safety and no longer wants to talk to the press."

Harrelsonroad.jpg Director Paul Schrader explains to New York's HX magazine why Woody Harrelson, who plays gay in Schrader's upcoming film The Walker, won't do any press for it: "His agent told me he doesn't like himself in it. I think he wanted the character to be a little more fey than I did, a little more comically fluffy, and I didn't see the character that way."

road.jpg Surveillance video released by hotel where former Washington Rep. Richard Curtis had his encounter with hustler Cody Castagna: "The video shows both Curtis and beau Cody Castagna entering and leaving the posh Davenport Hotel Towers together the night of October 26, 2007, after meeting initially at a Hollywood Erotique Boutique store. Additional surveillance video shows Curtis leaving an envelope containing the payment for Castagna." (video)

road.jpg Ancient Polar Bear jawbone discovered: "The find is a surprise because polar bears are a relatively new species, with one study claiming they evolved less than 100,000 years ago. If the Svalbard jawbone's status is confirmed, and further discoveries can show the iconic Arctic beasts have a deeper evolutionary heritage, then the outlook for the animals may be more positive than some believe."

Tigersroad.jpg Rare tigers making comeback in India?

road.jpg Colorado councilwoman resigns rather than remove offensive joke she posted online: "The page-long joke, posted by councilwoman Sandra Tucker, described the tale of a white male who has a 'nightmare' in which he wakes up to discover that he has 'been turned' black, gay, Jewish and disabled. The joke uses terms such as 'negro,' 'queer' and 'fairy,' and also pokes fun at orphans, Mexicans, Jews, HIV-positive patients, drug addicts and those with physical disabilities. The punch line of the joke comes when the person having the nightmare also finds out he is a Democrat, a 'fate worse' than all the rest."


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #193

DAN ABRAMS: On Washington State Rep. Richard Curtis and Republican hypocrites, plus interview with Cody Castagna.

AMY WINEHOUSE: Gives a very shaky performance of "Back to Black" at the MTV European Music Awards.

JONATHAN PAPELBON: The Boston Red Sox pitcher appears on David Letterman.

JOHN EDWARDS: Fresh off the recent debate, Edwards is out with a new 60-second ad.

Check out our previous guides to the Tube here!


News: Adam Levine, Bigot of the Year, Writer's Strike, Thailand

road.jpg Rolling Stone's Jann Wenner and partner Matt Nye are expecting twins in January.

road.jpg Daughter of anti-gay leader Amy Contrada (MassResistance) comes out of the closet: "I am a lesbian, which my mom still does not get. She just says that I am confused. I realized in around eighth grade, but I was in denial for quite some time because I was scared due to my mother constantly saying that homosexuality is wrong. How can it ever be wrong to love though? That’s what I’d like to know."

Gayrepublicansroad.jpg Reuters discovers that some Republicans are gay!

road.jpg Scientist tweak gene in mice to create "mighty mouse": "Scientists at Case Western Reserve University have genetically engineered mice that outrun, outlive, and out-eat ordinary mice while staying lean, light, and fertile well into old age...A major unanswered question, Hanson's team notes, is what brain changes accompany the genetically engineered mice's hyped-up activity."

road.jpg Ellen DeGeneres takes on the holiday as a "not pregnant" Jennifer Lopez.

Levineroad.jpg Maroon 5's Adam Levine dresses down for slut-o-ween.

road.jpg Daniel Radcliffe confirmed for Equus on Broadway in September 2008: "... it took months of negotiations to secure a deal with the theatre-owning Shubert Organisation and for the producers David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers to sort out all the paperwork for the play's two leading men to perform in New York. Director Thea Sharrock will begin rehearsals next August."

road.jpg Get ready for more Reality TV: Hollywood writers to strike for the first time in almost 20 years - "We've never been more united and we are willing to deal -- and our decision makers are at the table. Their decision makers are not at the table, and that tells you pretty much all you need to know about how the companies are pushing this."

road.jpg Royal blackmailer Ian Strachan to apply for bail: "Lawyers representing Ian Strachan, 30, are due to make an application behind closed doors at the Old Bailey. A previous application last week was adjourned after a few minutes because the lawyers needed more time to prepare. Strachan is not expected to attend but will be released from Belmarsh prison, south-east London, if bail is granted."

Priddisroad.jpg Bishop wins Bigot of the Year award from UK gay rights group Stonewall: "An employment tribunal in Cardiff in April heard how youth worker John Reaney, 42, was left feeling humiliated after a two-hour interview during which the bishop grilled him about a previous gay relationship. The tribunal decided Mr Reaney had been a victim of unfair dismissal and awarded damages against the Church of England."

road.jpg On Wednesday I posted about the latest hustler to bring down a Republican hypocrite, and his porn past. Fleshbot has a big round-up of Cody Castagna's adult activities (NSFW).

road.jpg SLOG reads the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report, and it's quite terrifying.

road.jpg Munich version of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin features drag queens and Brokeback Mountain references. It's not being received well: "There is no novelty value left in the outing of Tchaikovsky. Half-naked cowboys and men in ballgowns are cheap cliches. An exploration of the two men's relationship is legitimate, since it is one of the opera's deepest and certainly its most tragic. With more subtlety and professionalism, it might have worked."

road.jpg Thai gay activist says he was refused insurance because he is gay: "Natee Teerarojjanapongs, president of the Gay Political Group of Thailand, said he had tried to buy a policy from AIA sales agent Pachara Pipatwong on Sunday. However, after Pachara called to consult an AIA official who liaises with the company's agents, Natee was told he could not do so because he was gay. 'AIA is violating the 2007 Constitution, as it is restricting my rights. [Pachara] told me the official said AIA policy stated that it did not give homosexuals insurance,' Natee said after speaking to the council, which met to monitor how the new Constitution was being implemented. 'I'm willing to let them give me a full health check if they think that I'm in a high-risk group. There's no reason to deny me and other gays or transvestites life insurance. We are educated like others in society. Not all of us engage in risky behaviour,' he said."


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