Two antigay Michigan lawmakers who allegedly concocted a fake sex scandal to divert attention from their own love affair could face years in prison if convicted on all charges, The Detroit Free Press reported.
Republican State Reps. Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat left the Michigan State Legislature in September after Courser's office sent a bizarre email to Republican operatives, implying that he enjoyed paying men for sex outside bars in Lansing. The purpose of this email was to allegedly deflect from an extramarital affair Courser was actually having with fellow married lawmaker Gamrat, the paper reported on Friday.
Gamrat and Courser are both Tea Party Republicans who have taken strong stances against marriage equality.
Courser was charged with four felonies including lying under oath which is a 15-year felony, according to the Free Press. He also faces three counts of misconduct in office for attempting to force staff members to send out false emails.
Courser allegedly fired one staffer who refused to send an email accusing the lawmaker of "male on male paid for sex" and being a "bisexual porn addicted deviant." The two other misconduct charges against Courser are for forgery and lying to the House Business Office, and carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison, according to the paper.
Gamrat is also charged with those same two misconduct felonies.
On his Facebook page, Courser denied the charges against him. He has said that he only resorted to the fake gay emails after receiving anonymous allegedly threatening messages asking him to resign from someone who was later determined to be Gamrat's husband, according to the paper.
No charges have been filed against the husband, Joe Gamrat. Watch Michigan lawmakers discuss what should happen to Gamrat and Courser before Courser resigned and Gamrat was expelled, below.