Texas State Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) has been accused of sending sexually explicit messages to a University of Texas at Austin graduate student. Schwertner’s spokesperson Tom Holloway said in a statement that the senator denies the allegations and that he “only became aware of this allegation when contacted by the media late this afternoon.”
“The senator is eager to cooperate with the University of Texas and hopes to make clear he played no part in the behavior described,” said Holloway.
According to The Texas Tribune, UT Austin has begun an internal investigation into the allegations, which include the state senator allegedly sending the female student naked pictures of himself with explicit messages.
A spokesperson for the university said UT Austin “takes all allegations of wrongdoing seriously and encourages members of the campus community to report them immediately. We strive to investigate complaints thoroughly and quickly while respecting the confidentiality of students and employees who file complaints and those accused of wrongdoing.”
The Houston Chronicle reports that the Texas Senate has declined to take any action pending the investigation.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told the local media that though the “serious allegations” have him “deeply concerned,” the Texas legislature will postpone any action. “The Texas Senate is awaiting the conclusion of the investigation and expects a full report on this matter,” he said in a press release.
An attorney for Schwertner told the Austin American-Statesman in a statement that the senator “did not send any inappropriate texts as alleged. Period.”
“The senator is devastated over these allegations and is concerned for the unnamed victim,” said the attorney. “We are in contact with the University of Texas to resolve this matter. Our statements regarding the senator will be proven in the days and weeks to come.”