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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz reportedly under investigation for relationship with 17-year-old girl

Posted By on Tue, Mar 30, 2021 at 6:41 PM

  • Screenshot via Matt Gaetz/Twitter

Congressman Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican who was literally the only person to vote against a 2017 bi-partisan anti-sex trafficking bill, is now reportedly being investigated for having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and violating laws against sex trafficking in the process.

According to Tuesday evening report from the New York Times, the investigation was launched during President Donald Trump's term, under former attorney general William Barr, and focuses on an alleged 2019 relationship between Gaetz and a 17-year-old girl. The investigation also looks at whether or not the Florida congressman paid for her to cross state lines, which would breach federal sex trafficking laws.

The investigation is part of a larger inquiry into former Seminole County tax collector and Gaetz pal Joel Greenberg, who was charged last year with 14 felony counts accusing him of stalking a political opponent, using a state database to create fake IDs, and sex trafficking a minor between the ages of 14 and 17, reports the Times.

Gaetz told the publication that the Justice Department informed his lawyers that he was the subject and not the target of the Greenberg investigation. "I only know that it has to do with women," said Gaetz to the Times. "I have a suspicion that someone is trying to recategorize my generosity to ex-girlfriends as something more untoward."

This isn't the first time Gaetz has been accused of sexual misconduct. Last year, Florida state Rep. Chris Latvala accused the congressman of designing a "game" with a point system for "sleeping with aides, interns, lobbyists, and married legislators." The game, which was first reported by the Miami Herald, awarded one point for a having sex with a lobbyist, two for a staffer, three for another legislator and six for a married legislator.

At the time, Gaetz denied to the Tampa Bay Times that he created, had knowledge of, or participated in the game.

This story originally appeared in our sister publication Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.

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