A Republican politician who tried to cover up a scandal with a story about himself and a rent boy will face perjury charges in Michigan.
Last year, a newspaper published secret recordings of Michigan state representative Todd Courser plotting to cover up rumours he was having an affair with Republican colleague Cindy Gamrat – by planting a story about a fake liaison with a gay male prostitute.
Both Gamrat and Courser were expelled from the House over the scandal, after Courser admitted he planted fake allegations to throw people off the scent of the real affair.
The pair, who had submitted anti-gay marriage legislation while violating the sanctity of their own marriages, will now face criminal charges for allegedly lying to investigators about the scandal.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has now confirmed that Courser will face four felony charges and three misconduct charges, for lying under oath while being questioned by the House Select Committee.
The charges against Courser include one count of felony perjury – for which he could face up to 15 years behind bars.
Gamrat faces two counts of misconduct in office, which can lead to a maximum jail term of five years.
In a statement, Courser – who has previously admitted conspiring to fake the scandal – dismissed the charges as “baseless”
He said: “Attorney General Schuette filed baseless criminal charges against Todd Courser that are political in nature and have come at a time to take heat off the misconduct of others.”
Courser also suggested that those who exposes his secret conversations should be prosecuted, claiming: “There have been no charges brought against the proper parties who engaged in extortion, wiretapping, stalking, conspiracy, and multiple other felonies.
The statement adds: “Todd Courser will continue to defend himself against these baseless and unconstitutional charges. He is confident that the truth will come out and that these baseless charges will be shown to be just another extension of corrupt government.”