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Nude pictures of former Volusia resident at center of Tennessee sex scandal involving lawmaker

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A former Volusia County resident is at the center of a sex scandal that has rocked the Tennessee legislature.

McKensie Morrison, 22, is a graduate of Spruce Creek High in Port Orange, where she was student body president. She went on to become a straight-A student at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., and a legislative intern.

Now, authorities have arrested her former boyfriend, Joel Palmer Watts, 27, who is accused of demanding $10,000 from state Sen. Paul Stanley, R-Germantown, in return for pictures and a video Stanley shot of Morrison

Stanley, a married father of two, admitted he had a sexual relationship with Morrison and took pictures of her in various states of undress, according to affidavits and testimony from a TBI agent.

While neither Stanley nor Morrison have talked publicly since their affair became public, court and legislative records reveal other details about them.

Stanley, whose seat is up for election next year, has not responded to text and phone messages from The Associated Press. He issued a statement last week saying prosecutors had asked him not to discuss the matter with the media. District attorney general spokeswoman Susan Niland on Friday said that is not the case.

"Nobody told him that he could not talk to anybody," she said.

A Memphis newspaper reported Friday that a Planned Parenthood executive there said that when she met with Stanley during a lobbying visit in April, he told her he would not support the organization's work and "didn't believe young people should have sex before marriage."

The visit by Planned Parenthood supporters to Stanley's legislative office occurred April 7, the Commercial Appeal reported. Early the next morning, the newspaper said, the senator became the target of a $10,000 extortion attempt revolving around a "sexual relationship" with Morrison. He then went to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for help saying he was being blackmailed for explicit photographs and video of Morrison, records show.

Stanley and the TBI set up a payoff meeting, and Morrison's then-boyfriend Watts was arrested April 9 after the exchange, authorities said.

Morrison, who also has a husband in a Florida prison, demonstrated a risk-taking side through skydiving and motorcycles, according to her internship application and court documents obtained by The Associated Press.

She applied for a legislative internship "to learn about the functions of government at the state level from first-hand experience + to expand my social network," she wrote on her application form.

"I believe my strongest attributes lie in the fact that I am highly self-motivated, disciplined, punctual, and dependable," her cover letter said.

She listed her hobbies as riding motorcycles, hunting, rock climbing, skydiving and photography.

"I enjoy new challenges and endeavors, which has been a catalyst for learning new skills," she wrote.

At age 18, Morrison entered into an ill-fated marriage. Less than a month after their 2005 marriage, husband Randy Mueller was arrested on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He's currently serving a seven-year sentence.

Mueller filed for divorce last month, court records show.

Morrison moved to Dickson, Tenn., began working for her father's insurance company and enrolled at Austin Peay in 2006.

Phone numbers for Morrison are redacted from legislative records.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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