Politics & Government

‘Terribly concerned.’ Parties react after report that former governor asked man for sex acts

Sen. Julian Carroll
Sen. Julian Carroll File

The Kentucky Democratic Party released a statement late Saturday saying it is “terribly concerned” following a TV report that former Democratic governor and current state Sen. Julian Carroll propositioned and allegedly groped a then-30-year-old man in 2005.

“We are terribly concerned by the events described in the Pure Politics piece concerning Sen. Carroll,” said Brad Bowman, the spokesman for the Kentucky Democratic Party. “While we acknowledge and greatly appreciate Sen. Carroll’s life-long career of public service, we cannot overlook the severity of these allegations and take them seriously.”

In 2005 Carroll told Jason Geis he would help him get into art school, according to the report Saturday night by Spectrum News Pure Politics. But instead of helping Geis get into school, Carroll propositioned him for sex, Spectrum reported.

“We are just now learning about Spectrum’s reporting, but it is obviously very troubling,” said Tres Watson, the spokesman for the Republican Party of Kentucky.

According to a recording obtained and aired by Spectrum, Carroll asked Geis to masturbate him and perform oral sex on him. In an interview with Spectrum, Geis also alleged that Carroll groped him.

When approached in a hallway in the Capitol by Spectrum reporter Nick Storm, Carroll denied the allegations. “It is ridiculous,” said Carroll, 86, D-Frankfort. “It did not happen.”

Spectrum obtained a copy of a Kentucky State Police investigation into the matter, including a letter indicating that the Lincoln County Attorney decided not to prosecute the case.

“Without proof of more than a request for sexual contact, I do not believe a criminal case could or should be sought,” the letter from April 2005 said.

As to why the recording is surfacing publicly now, Spectrum pointed to an article last August by Washington D.C.-based Roll Call about Kentucky’s 2016 U.S. Senate race. In that article, Carroll was interviewed about whether Lexington Mayor Jim Gray’s sexual orientation mattered in the Senate race. In that interview, Carroll was asked whether he thought being gay is a choice.

“I know my Christian friends don’t approve of it,” Carroll told Roll Call. “And quite frankly, it’s not a choice I choose to make.”

He added: “You can choose to ask God to convert you and heal you of that choice.”

Daniel Desrochers: 502-875-3793, @drdesrochers, @BGPolitics