Problems deepened yesterday for Washington State GOP Rep. Richard Curtis, the target of an alleged extortion plot by a male prostitute in Spokane.
On Monday afternoon, Curtis told the press, "I committed no crime. I did not solicit sex. I was trying to help somebody out. I am not gay. I have not had sex with a guy. It's been a rough week. Look, the rest of this will all come out. I can't say anything more until I have talked to my attorney. I have never been in this situation before."
Curtis reportedly met 26-year-old Cody Castagna, a waiter from Spokane at an adult video store, where two gay porn films were purchased, and traveled to the Davenport Towers Hotel where the two had sex, according to details in a police search warrant.
According to The Columbian, "The police report contains an account of how Curtis allegedly donned women’s clothing, red stockings and a black sequined lingerie top before engaging in a sex act at the store. He continued to wear them throughout the night under his clothing." Those details do not appear to be in the search warrant, however.
Once the two men finished having sex, Curtis told police he fell asleep. Castagna, who has spent two months in jail as an adult on a forgery charge, allegedly took Curtis' wallet from the room at that point and later demanded $200 for it, threatening to tell Curtis' wife that he was gay. Curtis brought $200 to the hotel desk in an envelope for Castagna. Curtis didn't receive the wallet at that time, but got a phone call later demanding another $800. According to the police report, Spokane officer Madsen was present when he received the call, and listened in.
Castagna claims that Curtis agreed to pay him $1000 for sex (a claim Curtis denies) and that because Curtis only had $200 at the time, Castagna took Curtis' wallet as collateral for the balance.
Said Castagna at a press conference Tuesday: "I feel that, honestly, I’m being wrongly accused and that (Curtis) is using his power to take it off of him and put it on me. He has completely changed what actually happened and turned it around for his favor."
(VIDEO below, after the jump)
Castagna also told KXLY4 Executive Producer Melissa Luck in an email exchange: "Well I will say this Richard offered me money to engage in sexual acts I wasn’t into. [M]y stupid ass agreed and since he was tired he gave me his wallet as collateral until he woke up and could get me the money and I got the feeing he was screwing me and he was not only that he turned the whole thing around in his favor to save his butt and is screwing up my [w]hole life."
Castagna's lawyer added: "He didn’t make any threats against this guy (Curtis). This is an extremely a low-level situation that’s being blown out of proportion by somebody who is trying to save themselves."
Curtis contacted Spokane police and then began to worry that details of the incident would expose him.
Spokane Police Detective Tim Madsen wrote in the report: "Curtis told me he was just trying to put the cap back on the tube. “I told Curtis that the suspect may victimize other people in the future, and Curtis acknowledged that part of his job was to protect people in the state of Washington. … Curtis said he wished he would have just paid the additional money to the suspect because he didn’t wish the case to be prosecuted. If the incident became public, it could cost him his marriage and career."
Curtis then apparently called a fellow Republican, Sgt. Roy Rhine of the Washington State Patrol, a move which backfired, as the WSP, according to The Columbian, referred the case back to the local police.
Police also have physical evidence: "As part of their investigation, Spokane police have seized video recordings from the hotel and the sex shop, computerized records of when Curtis’ hotel room door was opened and closed, and hotel records purportedly showing the rental of gay porn movies by someone in Curtis’ room."
No charges have been filed yet in the case.
Of course this is the real kicker to the story. The Spokesman Review reported yesterday: "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."
Search Warrant [pdf]
Police report sheds new light on Curtis encounter [the columbian]
Castagna claims he didn't blackmail state legislator [kxly spokane]
Police documents: SW Wash. GOP lawmaker had sex with man [seattle post intelligencer]
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Washington State GOP Rep. in Alleged Male Hustler Extortion Plot [tr]