NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WREG)— TN Rep. Torrey Harris (D-Memphis) was charged for stealing property from his ex-boyfriend on July 15, according to records from Metro Nashville Police.
Documents obtained by WREG show Representative Harris went to his former boyfriend’s apartment to talk about their relationship and wouldn’t let him leave.
The complainant told police he noticed several electronics and home furnishings missing from the apartment, including a Macbook Air, Playstation 5, Airmax shoes, and a dog.
Harris told police he had the items and he previously bought them for the complainant as gifts.
Records show that Harris’ ex-boyfriend also claimed he sustained a scratch on his arm as Harris tried to prevent him from leaving the apartment.
WREG’s Nashville news partner WKRN confirmed Harris’ arrest with a spokesperson for the state House Democrats. The spokesperson said he would not comment on the incident. WKRN also reported that Harris has been charged with assault.
Harris is not currently listed in the Davidson County, TN jail.
Harris is running in the Aug. 4 Democratic primary for the District 91 House seat. Barbara Farmer-Tolbert is his opponent. His former district – District 90 – was eliminated in the recent round of redistricting.
The District 91 seat has been vacant since London Lamar was appointed to the State Senate to replace Katrina Robinson.
Harris is also a community advocate and was one of the first two openly LGBTQ members of the Tennessee General Assembly, along with Eddie Mannis.
Harris said in a statement:
I first want to say thank you for all the support and to those who have reached out during this time.
I have retained legal counsel and myself and the team are working diligently to cooperate with the investigation. I maintain my innocence and will plead not guilty to the charges. I know that at the end of this I will be cleared of all allegations.
My focus will remain on serving the people as it always has been, but my ask is that if someone you know-loved one, friend, or neighbor is battling with mental health, that you help them as best as you can. Never deter from supporting those who need us even at their toughest moments.
As for me, I want to say thank you for all the calls and to those who have reached out during this time. This has been a lived example that will help me better help those I serve. Trust me, I have already noticed steps in policy that lawmakers like myself must work to improve throughout the justice system.
Over the next couple of weeks you will learn more about this matter and I look forward to moving on after it is all said and done.TN Rep. Torrey Harris (D-Memphis)
Harris’s opponent Reverend Barbara Farmer-Tolbert released the following statement in response to the pending criminal charges:
The present pending criminal charges against Mr. Torrey Harris is very unfortunate.
I, Barbara Farmer-Tolbert, along with my campaign staff and volunteers will continue to pray for Mr. Harris.
We are also in prayer for the victim and his family. I have faithfully served the community as a Domestic Assault Detective, so I am well aware of the long term effects it may cause a victim. Domestic Assault is a very serious offense and should be handled accordingly.
My team and I will not become distracted. We will continue to press on with boots on the ground.
I am looking forward to winning the vacant seat in Tennessee House District 91.
I will serve the community with integrity as State Representative District 91.Barbara Farmer-Tolbert, Candidate for TN State Rep. District 91
WREG is working to learn more information and will update this page when more information becomes available.