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OK, the ink-stained wretches of the Capitol have finished scouring the transcript of the preliminary hearing for Sen. Paul Stanley's accused blackmailer, Joel Watts, and they've been rewarded with a delicious new detail. According to testimony
, Watts sent this text message to the senator:
"Good morning sir, how are you this fine day? McKensie and I have been talking, and I feel that I have a video and some pictures you might be interested in seeing. This is her boyfriend, that guy you met outside Walgreen's."
Stanley, who contacted the TBI that day, wrote back: "If I give you money how can I be sure of what I'm getting in return?"
TBI agent Doug Long testified there were nude pictures of Stanley's intern, McKensie Morrison, of her posing "in provocative positions and poses" at what appeared to be Stanley's apartment. The court records don't say who took the photos.
During the hearing, the senator was almost forced to testify about the nature of his relationship with his intern, but the judge came to his rescue. Asked by Watts' attorney whether he had a relationship with Morrison, Stanley responded: "She worked in the (Legislative) Plaza, yes."
The lawyer pressed Stanley to confirm that he was involved in a sexual relationship with her, but the prosecutor objected and the judge stopped that line of questioning. Hall also asked whether Stanley had offered money for the images.
"No, ma'am, I do not negotiate with criminals," Stanley responded. "That's kind of why we're here today. I did not offer to give him anything. He demanded."
One last interesting tidbit from this story by the AP's Erik Schelzig.
Connie Ridley, director of legislative administration, says Morrison was assigned to Stanley's office but stopped being paid her weekly $350 stipend after the senator reported that she had stopped coming to work beginning on April 17. That would have been after this all blew up in Stanley's face.