A Republican Senator in the state of Oklahoma has been accused of sexually assaulting his Uber driver, several news outlets reported Thursday.
According to local MSNBC affiliate TVKFOR News, Oklahoma state Senator Bryce Marlatt is under investigation for the assault, citing Police sources.
Marlatt, who is married, is accused of making sexual advances on his female driver. From there he moved to “grabbing her forcefully and kissing her on the neck,” while she was still struggling to drive. The victim intends to press charges, reports Buzzfeed.
Marlatt’s attorney told reporters that Marlatt is “shocked by the allegations,” although it’s difficult to believe he’s truly shocked, considering this isn’t Marlatt’s first run-in with the law. He was elected to the state senate in 2008 and in 2014 he was arrested after police discovered him drunk, asleep, in a truck on the side of the road.
When asked if he had been drinking, Marlatt said, “No more than anybody else.” Then, when asked how many beers he’d had, Marlatt told police, “None. I had what you would call a bourbon and coke.” He pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor.
Under normal circumstances, this kind of behavior in an elected official would be shocking. But we are far from normal circumstances, and Trump’s influence continues to normalize blatantly criminal acts.
Violent misogyny has now become one of the accepted tenets of the Republican Party. There is a self-confessed sexual predator in the Oval Office and the effects are trickling down, like so much poisoned water, to the roots of the GOP.