oklahoma-gubernatorial-candidate-charged-with-raping,-kidnapping-woman

An Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate was arrested Monday after authorities allege he locked a woman inside his car, hit her with a pipe and sexually assaulted her at his home.

Paul Tay, 58, was charged with first degree rape, kidnapping and assault with a dangerous weapon, according to the Tulsa Police Department.

Efforts to reach Tay were unsuccessful Wednesday. It was unclear if he had a lawyer.

Tay, a perennial independent political candidate in the city of Tulsa, is running for Governor of Oklahoma in the 2022 election. On Sunday, police said a woman responded to a Craigslist ad for a job interview on Tay’s campaign team for office.

Because she didn’t have a car, police said Tay offered the woman a ride and picked her up in Bethany, about 11 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. When she realized Tay was heading to Tulsa instead of the state’s capital, authorities said she tried to get out of the car, but Tay would not let her.

“Paul grabbed a pipe and hit her on her pelvis area as she was attempting to get out,” the victim told police in the arrest report.

The victim told authorities Tay continued to lock her in his car while he stopped for gas near Beggs and panhandled for gas money. Tay allegedly then took her to his house in Tulsa, sexually assaulted her and raped her with a pipe, according to the arrest report.

On Monday, the woman convinced Tay to take her to a Walmart to buy hygiene products, according to police.

“Once at the store, the victim was able to get away and get help from a store employee,” police said. “Officers arrived and arrested Tay in the parking lot.”

He is being held at Tulsa County Jail with a bond total of $85,000, according to jail records. He is expected to appear in court on Monday.

Wilson Wong is a breaking news reporter with NBC News. 

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