Tulsa Police arrested Paul Tay on Monday, accused of kidnapping and raping a woman. Tay is a perennial gubernatorial candidate and former Tulsa mayoral candidate.
He is well known for running for political office and driving around downtown on a bicycle with sexually explicit signs.
Police arrested Paul Tay in a store parking lot near 31st and Harvard late Monday night, after police said the victim told a store employee she was being held against her will. Employees immediately called police.
Police say she convinced Tay to take her to the store, where she asked for help.
"She's very smart. She's obviously a very intelligent person to be able to think that quickly, to be able to convince him to help get her some products she needed,” said Lieutenant Darin Ehrenrich with the Tulsa Police Special Victims Unit.
An affidavit said the woman responded to an ad on Craigslist for a job on Tay's campaign team in Oklahoma City. Since she didn't have a car, police say Tay picked her up, then drove her to Tulsa.
"When Paul Tay picks her up and starts driving her towards Tulsa, she was confused and put off by that. She tried to get out of the car and states when she tied to get out, Paul Tay took a metal pipe and struck her in the pelvis area,” said Ehrenrich.
Documents said the victim told police Tay's car ran out of gas near Beggs, and Tay locked her in the car while he panhandled for gas money. She told police Tay took her to his house in Tulsa and raped her.
"It's terrifying. I can't imagine what the victim went through. Number one, being brutally assaulted while trying to get out of a car, and the statement she has made is this is an absolutely horrifying crime,” said Ehrenrich.
Documents say detectives found the victim's clothing in Tay's home.
Tay is no stranger to law enforcement having been arrested for theft, disturbing the peace, obstructing officers, outraging public decency and more. Detectives said their focus now is finding the Craigslist ad, because it is a key piece of evidence in their investigation.
According to police records, Tay was arrested on first-degree rape and kidnapping charges and booked into the Tulsa County Jail.
Tay was unsuccessful in his 2020 bid for Tulsa's mayoral seat. The Associated Press reports that Tay, a perennial political candidate, filed paperwork with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission indicating plans to run for Governor of Oklahoma in the 2022 Election.