- Gaetz was once accused of creating a sex game with his male colleagues in the Florida legislature.
- A state lawmaker said last year that Gaetz “created a game where members of the FL House got ‘points’ for sleeping with aides, interns, lobbyists, and married legislators.”
- Gaetz denied inventing or taking part in the sex game.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz was once accused of creating a game in which he and his male colleagues in the Florida House of Representatives would score their sexual conquests.
State GOP Rep. Chris Latvala tweeted in January 2020 that Gaetz “created a game where members of the FL House got ‘points’ for sleeping with aides, interns, lobbyists, and married legislators.” Latvala’s accusation came after Gaetz criticized him for meeting with Rev. Al Sharpton.
-Chris Latvala (@ChrisLatvala) January 14, 2020
ABC News reported that targets in the sex game also included staffers that the group of lawmakers had heard were virgins.
Gaetz denied inventing or taking part in the scoring system in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times.
The Miami Herald first reported on the existence of the game in 2017, but Gaetz’s name was not tied to it until 2020.
Allegations about the scoring system resurfaced this week after The New York Times reported that the Justice Department was investigating whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl in 2019 and broke federal sex-trafficking laws.
These are the main allegations against Gaetz, according to media reports:
- In addition to looking into whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old in 2019, investigators are examining if he paid for her to travel with him and broke federal sex-trafficking laws by doing so.
- According to The Times, the 17-year-old at the heart of the Gaetz probe is the same girl who was involved in a felony sex-trafficking count against Joel Greenberg, a former Florida tax collector who was charged with 14 counts and pleaded not guilty.
- Investigators are said to be examining whether Gaetz used campaign money to fund travel and other expenses for women.
- The Times reported that the inquiry is focusing on Gaetz and Greenberg’s interactions with “multiple women who were recruited online for sex and received cash payments.”
- One person familiar with the conversations told The Times that Gaetz told the women to say that he paid for dinners and hotel rooms as part of their dates if anyone asked about the nature of their relationships.
- People familiar with the encounters told The Times that some of the men and women, including Gaetz, took MDMA before having sex, and that in some cases the Florida lawmaker asked the women to find others who may want to have sex with him and his friends.
- ABC News reported that the sex probe is focusing not just on Gaetz’s conduct in his home state of Florida but in other states as well.
Gaetz has denied ever paying for sex and claims the investigation into him is part of an elaborate scheme to extort his family for $25 million.
“Matt Gaetz has never paid for sex,” his office said in a statement to The Times. “Matt Gaetz refutes all the disgusting allegations completely. Matt Gaetz has never ever been on any such websites whatsoever. Matt Gaetz cherishes the relationships in his past and looks forward to marrying the love of his life.”
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