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Bryce Marlatt resigns
(NonDoc)

A week after he was charged with sexual battery for allegedly kissing and groping an Uber driver, Bryce Marlatt has resigned from the Oklahoma State Senate.

From Woodward, Marlatt had represented northwest Oklahoma’s Senate District 27, which encompasses the state’s nine most northwestern counties. He was first elected in 2008.

Marlatt was charged with the felony in Oklahoma County District Court on Sept. 6, more than two months after a female Uber driver filed a police report alleging the incident.

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).

State law required Gov. Mary Fallin to set a special election date within 30 days, and on Thursday, Sept. 14, she announced that candidate filing will be Oct. 2-4. The special primary election will be Dec. 12, and the special general election will be Feb. 13.

With a slew of Republican lawmakers resigning over the past two years, Democrats have picked up several seats in the Legislature.

Marlatt becomes the fourth GOP state senator to resign since August 2015. The others were:

  • 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.

(Update: This story was updated Thursday, Sept. 14, at 11:30 a.m. to include Gov. Mary Fallin’s announcement of special election dates for the State Senate District 27 seat.)

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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.