• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Dems ask Carroll to resign from senate


State Sen. Julian Carroll, who represents Woodford and four other Central Kentucky counties, was asked to resign Sunday by fellow Senate Democrats after a televised report that he allegedly propositioned a man in 2005. After the 20-minute story by Spectrum Cable's "Pure Politics" aired Saturday, Senate Democrats also voted to remove Carroll from his position as minority whip. The story featured an audio tape given to the news organization featuring a man who appeared to be Carroll asking photographer Jason Geis, then 30, for sex. Geis said Carroll had previously offered to help him get into an art school, and recorded the 2005 encounter after telling his grandmother, who gave him the tape recorder, that he was suspicious of Carroll's motives. A call to Carroll's legislative office in Frankfort asking Carroll for comment was not returned. Carroll, 86, was elected to the state Senate in 2004 and is a former governor, lieutenant governor and state House Speaker. The Spectrum story featured an open records request to Kentucky State Police (KSP) revealing that Carroll was interviewed by KSP investigators not long after the encounter with Geis. Carroll told them he'd met Geis through another person he'd counseled through a drug problem, and that Geis had told him he had AIDS. Carroll told investigators he told Geis it was a criminal offense for a person with AIDS to have sex, and that he'd gone to Geis's Danville home twice. He also said Geis later told him that he had good news - that he didn't have AIDS. Carroll denied touching Geis inappropriately, but admitted he might have mentioned masturbation and oral stimulation to Geis in an effort to counsel him about his sexual activities. Six days later after the KSP interview, Carroll called investigators back, saying he'd forgotten to mention a few things. He said he did recall asking twice for oral sex - to see where Geis was heading. Geis told Spectrum that Carroll groped him. Asked about the allegations last week, Carroll told Spectrum reporter Nick Storm, "That's ridiculous. I don't answer those kinds of ... questions. It is ridiculous. It did not happen and it is fake to begin with." In the tape, after asking Geis for manual or oral sex, Caroll asked, "Would you rather not do it? Jason, I ... the reason, you know, the reason I asked you is that I figured it was something you'd done before." Geis said "No" repeatedly, and began crying. Carroll asked, "You've never done it before?" then said, "So you don't want to do it then, do you?" Carroll, then married with adult children, repeated the question, then told Geis, "Jason, don't - come on, come here. Just chat with me. You don't have to do this. I'm just telling you what I want. Is there anything wrong with me just telling you what I want you to do for me?" Later, Carroll asked for a hug, and Geis told Carroll he was afraid of him. In a letter to KSP investigators, the Lincoln County attorney told them he couldn't prosecute a case without strong evidence of more than a request for sex. Spectrum said they began working on the story last August, when they were given the tape from a person angered about a quote from Carroll in the Washington, D.C., newspaper, Roll Call. Carroll had been asked about then-U.S. Senate candidate Jim Gray, the openly gay mayor of Lexington, and whether he felt homosexuality was 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. You can choose to ask God to convert you and heal you of that choice." State Rep. James Kay, a fellow Democrat who, like Carroll, represents Woodford County, did not return a phone call from The Sun asking for comment.

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