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Oklahoma governor candidate charged for allegedly assaulting, raping campaign job applicant

The candidate, an independent, has a criminal record.

Updated: August 25, 2021 - 11:10am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A candidate for Oklahoma governor has been arrested in connection with the kidnapping of a woman who responded to an ad to join his campaign team.

The candidate has been identified as 59-year-old Paul Tay, an independent with a reported history of arrests and odd behavior in previous political campaigns.

He once held inappropriate signs outside schools and bicycled down an expressway towing an inflatable penis during previous campaigns, according to The Washington Post.

Tay was arrested Monday in connection with the alleged kidnapping. He was also charged with rape and assault with a dangerous weapon, Tulsa police said. 

Tay is being held in jail with bond set at $85,000. 

He pleaded guilty in 2003 to assaulting a police officer and was found guilty in January 2020 for outraging public decency and sentenced to nine months in jail, according to court records obtained by The Post. 

In the most recent incident, the woman who said she was kidnapped responded to a Craigslist ad Sunday for a paid job with Tay’s gubernatorial campaign. 

Tay offered to drive the woman to Oklahoma City in connection with the job. On the drive, he allegedly "hit the victim with a pipe and sexually assaulted her," police said in a news release.

After arriving at his Tulsa home, Tay then allegedly assaulted woman again and raped her with a pipe, according to police. She was able to escape Monday during a shopping trip to Walmart in which she separated from Tay and asked a Walmart employee for help.

Police arrested Tay in the parking lot.

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