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Bryce Marlatt
(NonDoc)

Sen. Bryce Marlatt has been charged with sexual battery in Oklahoma County District Court. The charge is a felony.

On July 5, NonDoc, KFOR and other media reported Marlatt (R-Woodward) was under investigation after an Uber driver filed a police report saying he touched and kissed her against her will while she was transporting him to a local bar.

From the police report:

[Victim] stated she drives for Uber and was transporting a customer when he made advances on her during transit. [Victim] picked up [suspect] at [9:59 p.m.] and dropped [suspect] off at [10:36 p.m.].

[Victim] described [suspect], (redacted) as grabbing her forcefully and kissing [victim} on the neck while she was driving. This occurred on the Lake Hefner Parkway en route to [suspect’s] destination at a hotel somewhere off Expressway. After arriving at the hotel, [suspect] had [victim] drive to the Pump Bar located at N.W. 24th and Walker. [Victim} was able to obtain basic information for [suspect] and was able to find a picture of him on the internet which she showed me. [Suspect] is described as a white male approximately 5’9” in height and approximately 170 pounds. The description of [suspect] on the picture [victim] showed me indicated [suspect] was employed by (redacted).

Marlatt was elected in 2008 and has risen to the rank of assistant majority floor leader and chairman of the Senate Energy Committee.

He was instrumental in the passage of the “long laterals” bill this session to increase the legal reach of lateral oil and gas drilling.

“I think it is an historic piece of legislation,” Marlatt was quoted as saying earlier this month at the Tri State Oil and Gas Convention by the Woodward News. “It will allow a lot of development in the state of Oklahoma. It will allow a lot of investment in the state of Oklahoma and to be frank, a lot of our revenue in the state of Oklahoma comes off of the gross production tax.”

Three GOP senators have resigned amid scandal since August 2015.

  • Rick Brinkley of Owasso resigned and received a 37-month jail sentence for fraud.
  • Ralph Shortey of southwest Oklahoma City resigned and has been charged with crimes related to child prostitution.
  • Kyle Loveless, also of southwest Oklahoma City, resigned before pleading guilty to embezzlement, filing false campaign reports and perjury, for which he received a three-year probation.

Earlier Wednesday, Shortey was indicted by a federal grand jury on sex trafficking and child pornography charges.

Democrats won special elections for both Brinkley and Shortey’s seats. Republican real estate broker Paul Rosino and Democrat police dispatcher Steven Vincent will face off in a special election Nov. 14 to fill Loveless’s seat.

(Correction: This story was updated at 5:56 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, to make proper reference to the court where Marlatt is charged.)

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William W. Savage III holds a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. He covered two sessions of the Oklahoma Legislature for eCapitol.net before working in health care for six years. He is a nationally certified Mental Health First Aid instructor.