Democratic State Rep. Torrey Harris of Memphis faces charges of misdemeanor assault and felony theft following his arrest on Sunday. He is accused of assaulting an ex-boyfriend.
Harris was elected to Tennessee’s House of Representatives in 2020, where he was one of the first two openly LGBTQ lawmakers to be voted into the state’s GOP-controlled General Assembly. His district was dissolved due to redistricting and he is now running for an open seat in House District 91 against Barbara Farmer-Tolbert.
According to an affidavit, Harris allegedly assaulted his ex-boyfriend in Nashville last Thursday (July 14). The complainant told police that the two began talking about their relationship when Harris dropped off his dog after taking care of it for a few days.
The complainant said that when he attempted to leave his apartment, Harris “stood in front of him and put his hands on (the complainant’s)… upper arms to prevent him from leaving” and the complainant “sustained a scratch to his arm,” according to the affidavit.
The complainant then left his apartment and came back when police were present. During that time, the complainant said his dog, a Macbook Air, Playstation 5, a barstool, lamps, shoes, airpods, an Apple watch and a TV mount were missing. When officers contacted Harris, the lawmaker said that he had the dog and also that he had the items because he had bought them as gifts.
Harris, 31, said in a statement that he has retained legal counsel and is cooperating with the investigation.
“I maintain my innocence and will plead not guilty to the charges,” he said. “I know that at the end of this I will be cleared of all allegations.”
Davidson County Sheriff’s Office records show that Harris was arrested Sunday and released from jail early Monday morning. His first court date is set for Oct. 10.