Cross-dressing state lawmaker blackmailed following late night tryst
SPOKANE -- State Representative Richard Curtis says he's not gay, but police reports and court records indicate the Republican lawmaker from southwestern Washington dressed up in women's lingerie and met a Medical Lake man in a local erotic video store which led to consensual sex at a downtown hotel and a threat to expose Curtis' activities publicly.
A search warrant unsealed Tuesday morning disclosed that State Representative Richard Curtis (R - La Center) had sex in his room at the Davenport Tower with a man identified as Cody Castagna, 26, of Medical Lake, who he met at the Hollywood Erotic Boutique on October 26th.
Curtis, according to a search warrant unsealed Tuesday, went to the Hollywood Erotic Boutique on East Sprague on October 26th at approximately 12:45 a.m. The store clerk, who had talked with Curtis, referred to him as "The Cross-Dresser" and said that during their conversations he confirmed he was gay and was married with children at home.
During his visit to the video store Curtis was observed wearing women's lingerie while receiving oral sex from an unidentified man in one of the movie viewing booths inside the store.
Afterward he met Cody Castagna, and they talked about getting together at Curtis' hotel room to have sex. Curtis left Castagna his cellphone number and went to Northern Quest Casino and receiving a call from him around 3 a.m., and planned to get together at the hotel a short while later.
The two met at the Davenport Tower around 3:34 a.m. and police reports confirm Curtis and Castagna had anal intercourse after which Curtis fell asleep. Castagna, according to court records, then allegedly took Curtis' wallet out of his jacket pocket and left the room.
Around 7 a.m. he called Curtis and told him he knew he was a member of the Washington State House of Representatives and was married, that he had taken pictures of Curtis with a camera on his cellphone and he offered to return the wallet in exchange for $1,000. In police reports it is claimed that Curtis offered Castagna that sum of money in exchange for having unprotected anal intercourse.
Curtis, during an interview with a Spokane detective, claimed that he gave Castagna $100 for "gas money" and insisted that the money was not payment for sex. During that phone conversation he claimed he only had $200 and left the money in an envelope at the front desk at the Davenport Tower for Castagna in exchange for the return of his wallet.
The attempt to get his wallet back proved unsuccessful as Castagna called Curtis back later on the 26th and demanded the remaining $800 from him. Unbeknownst to Castagna at the time Curtis had already contacted Spokane police and a detective was present with Curtis when Castagna called again.
When he contacted police, Curtis told detectives he wanted to keep the incident quiet and didn't want to press charges against Castagna and that all he wanted was his wallet back.
During the call Castagna not only demanded $800 for the return of Curtis' wallet but also said the money would buy his silence, implying that without the money he would expose Curtis' gay lifestyle to his wife. Curtis admitted to police that if details of the incident became public he would have to tell his wife and would need to hire a divorce attorney.
Following the phone call arranging for the return of the wallet police officers set up surveillance of the location where Curtis' billfold was to be dropped and subsequently recovered it.
Castagna offered a completely different view of the events that happened on October 26th in several interviews with detectives. Castagna claimed that Curtis had met him at the Hollywood Erotic Boutique and later at Curtis' hotel room offered him $1,000 in exchange for sex, adding that while he was in Curtis' room at the Davenport Tower Curtis rented two XXX-rated gay movies for the two to watch. After the two had sex, Castagna claimed that Curtis gave him his wallet as collateral to hold on to until he gave him the remainder of the $1,000.
He also admitted to detectives he had threatening to publicly expose Curtis to his wife.
According to his personal page on MySpace.com early Tuesday morning, Castagna claims he's a 26-year-old Wyoming native now living in Medical Lake and working locally as a server. His MySpace page has since been set to private.
The Columbian newspaper in southwestern Washington where Rep. Curtis lives confirmed that Castagna has faced multiple charges in juvenile court in Spokane and King County involving assault, theft, burglary and malicious mischief and that in 2001 he pled guilty to a forgery charge as an adult and was sentenced to two months in jail followed by a year in community custody.
Aside from his statements to the police, Rep. Curtis' only public statement about the incident on October 26th was to The Columbian. He told the newspaper Monday he did not solicit anyone for sex, that he is not gay and that he got into this mess just trying to help someone out.
State Rep. Richard Curtis (R-LaCenter)
Cody Castagna is suspected of attempting to extort State Representative Richard Curtis.
Expect plenty of disagreement. Just keep it civil.
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