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Richard Curtis Hub



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" »


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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]


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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)

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Richard Curtis, Cody Castagna, and Gay Extortion in Spokane

Surveillance

After several days of investigation, Spokane police have determined that Cody Castagna, the young man and part-time porn actor who allegedly attempted to extort money from former Washington state Rep. Richard Curtis, was part of a larger group of men who formed an extortion ring. Curtis, who resigned as a legislator last week following the release of a sordid police report, was apparently their latest target.

Davenport_2KOMO TV reports: "According to police reports, the [Castagna and Curtis] went to the Davenport Hotel. There, Curtis claims, the 26-year-old stole his wallet and demanded $1,000. Curtis said he only had $200, which he left at the hotel's front desk. Police said Castagna may be part of a larger group that targets gay men for extortion. In Curtis' case, the group designated a flower pot at a Spokane part (ed: I believe they mean "park") as the drop-off point for the remaining $800. Detectives believe the group has done this before. 'There were multiple threats and payoffs,' said Sgt. Joe Peterson. 'In this instance it seems like it was not the first time and we've been told by other people it's not the first time the suspects have done this type of thing.' Spokane police are releasing few details and said at least three different people are involved, including Castagna's cousins. They urge any other victims of extortion to contact Spokane police."

Police released a surveillance photo (above) which they say shows a friend of Castagna's who took part in the extortion entering the Davenport hotel to receive the envelope with Curtis' cash in it. The man then left the hotel with the money.

Dan Savage, writing for the Seattle paper The Stranger took a fascinating trip to Spokane to retrace Richard Curtis' steps, stayed at the Davenport Towers (photo, above right) , and ended up visiting a gay bar where he ran into none other than Cody Castagna. It's a must read.

Writes Savage: "I find myself feeling bad for Curtis. What a sad and solitary figure. He couldn't risk staying at the same hotel with the rest of the GOP colleagues, lest they spot him coming and going with young thugs. So he slunk off to the soulless Davenport Tower alone, before slipping into the Hollywood Erotic Boutique alone, before heading to the Northwest Quest Casino alone, before heading back to his hotel to have sex with a man whose name he didn't know—a man who thought he was a freak."

That's what Castagna told him when he ran into him at gay bar Dempsey's: "Richard Curtis is a freak. A big, gay freak."

Police: Photo supports Curtis' claims of extortion [komo]
Straight Acting [the stranger]


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