Texas State Senator Charles Schwertner (R – Georgetown) is being investigated by the University of Texas after being accused of sending a “sexually explicit image and text message to a graduate student he met at an on-campus event,” according to an Austin American-Statesman report.
Three UT officials with knowledge of the investigation told the newspaper that Schwertner allegedly texted “I just really want to f*** you” and sent her an image of his genitals. The UT officials say the student told Schwertner his text was inappropriate and reported him, sparking the investigation from the university.
The alleged misconduct mirrors previous sexting scandals involving Anthony Weiner, Texas Congressman Joe Barton, and Missouri State House Speaker John Diehl. The Statesman’s report indicates UT officials have seen the text and photo in question.
Schwertner’s campaign spokesman told the American-Statesman that he denies sending the text messages and is cooperating with investigators during the investigation.
Schwertner’s accusations come at a time when sexual misconduct is part of the national conversation, driven in part by the #MeToo movement where women have bravely come to tell their stories as survivors. The state senator describes himself as a “physician, family man, and life-long conservative,” but should these allegations prove to be true, Schwertner should resign from public office.
According to Texas Monthly, Schwertner has earned the reputation for being “mean-spirited and insecure,” and ran the Senate Health Committee “like a tyrant.” Schwertner made national headlines in 2017 for smashing the glass top of a table during a health committee meeting, as he sought to cut off testimony.
For these and other actions, Schwertner was designated by Texas Monthly as one of the worst legislators in Texas for the 85th session, where they wrote, “[i]t was a shame to see a medical doctor use his white coat to smother major health care issues.”
Reform Austin previously called on former Senator Carlos Uresti, convicted on federal felony charges and accused of harassing female staff and lobbyists, to resign; and has also called on State Representative Ron Reynolds, currently serving time for a misdemeanor conviction to resign.
Texans deserve legislators who will look out for everyone – who will stand up to predators, not prey on college students and perpetuate a toxic culture in the State Capitol. The State Senate needs to rapidly investigate these accusations against Senator Schwertner, and publicly issue their findings. We need to Reform Austin.