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Wash. Police Looking for Victims of Gay Extortion Plot

Wash. State legislator gets caught in sex scandal with part-time adult performer; police seek other victims of blackmail.
Wash. Police Looking for Victims of Gay Extortion Plot
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Dec 19, 2007 9:00 AM PST    Text size: 
TACOMA, Wash. — Police in Tacoma are looking for possible victims of four men involved in a gay sex extortion ring in the Seattle area.

Amateur gay adult performer Cody Castagna was one of the men charged with felony extortion, stemming from an October incident involving former state representative Richard Curtis, R-La Center, which caused Curtis to end his political career.

Castagna has appeared on GayPicsPortal.com and in videos including “Seattle Frat Boyz” and “A Wet Seattle Summer,” produced by Gae Boy Videos.

Police said they have reason to believe Castagna and the three other men implicated as accomplices may have victimized other individuals in the Seattle area who are afraid to come forward. Spokane police urged anyone who may have been a victim to call (509) 242-TIPS with information.

In a police report released on Oct. 30, Curtis admitted he had sex with Castagna after the two had met at an adult bookstore in Spokane Valley, Wash., where Curtis was in town attending a retreat with other Republican lawmakers in preparation for the 2008 Legislature.

According to the report, the two-term legislator and former fire department captain donned women’s clothing at the Hollywood Erotic Boutique before engaging in a “sex act” with Castagna there.

Then, the pair went to a room at the Davenport Tower Hotel and had sex. Afterwards, as Curtis slept, Castagna reportedly took Curtis’ wallet with credit cards and identification and left the hotel.

The report stated that Curtis had offered to pay Castagna $1,000 to have unprotected sex with him, and that $200 had been left at the hotel’s front desk as payment. Later, Castagna called demanding an additional $800 and threatened to expose the legislator’s “gay lifestyle” if he did not pay up.

At that point, Curtis had contacted the Spokane police to say he had been robbed and was potentially being blackmailed. The police listened in on the phone conversation between Curtis and Castagna and eventually arrested the escort, charging him with extortion.

Before the report was revealed to the media, Curtis denied several times that he was gay, that he offered money for sex, or that he had sex with Castagna. However, once the incident became public, Curtis resigned from office a few days later.

Curtis is married and the father of two.

In 2005 and 2006, Curtis voted against a bill granting civil rights protection to gays and lesbians. In 2007, he also voted against a bill that would allow domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. Both bills passed the state Legislature and have been signed into law.

The same day that the police report was issued, Castagna held a press conference and said, "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."

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