Rep Joe Barton says police are investigating nude-photo incident

Suggesting he is a sufferer of revenge porn from a jilted lover, Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas says he plans to go silent concerning the launch of a nude picture of him on-line as a result of police are investigating the disclosure as a doable crime towards him. Authorities haven’t confirmed an investigation.

The 68-year-old Barton, who joined the Home in 1985, has acknowledged sharing intimate materials with a lover and accused her of threatening to make it public when he ended the connection. The unidentified lady informed The Washington Submit that she didn’t put it on-line and mentioned the congressman sought to intimidate her by threatening to go to the authorities if she uncovered his conduct.

The he said-she mentioned dispute erupted within the midst of sexual misconduct allegations drawing in a number of different members of Congress in addition to Senate Republican candidate Roy Moore of Alabama, who’s accused of disrobing a 14-year-old woman. The implications for Barton will not be instantly obvious except for his mortification: The connection with the lady was evidently consensual.

The Post published details of a secretly recorded conversation between Barton and his lover from 2015 through which he threatened to “take all this crap to the Capitol Hill Police and have them launch an investigation” if she didn’t comply with maintain “inappropriate pictures and video” that he had exchanged together with her from turning into public. He mentioned she had already shared materials with different ladies with whom he had been concerned.

In an announcement after that report, Barton mentioned the “Capitol Police reached out to me and provided to launch an investigation and I’ve accepted. Due to the pending investigation, we could have no additional remark.” He mentioned the ladies’s feedback on the tape may very well be proof of a “potential crime towards me.”

Capitol Police haven’t mentioned whether or not they have begun an investigation. A message left by The Related Press at Barton’s district workplace in Arlington, Texas, was not returned. The voicemail for his workplace in Washington was full.

Making express photographs obtainable with out the topic’s permission is a felony within the District of Columbia and a Class A misdemeanor in Texas beneath revenge porn legal guidelines handed a number of years in the past. Greater than 30 different states have such a regulation; there isn’t any corresponding federal regulation.

These legal guidelines have traditionally protected ladies whose boyfriends or spouses publish or publicize nude or embarrassing photographs despatched to them privately whereas they have been in relationships. The jurisdiction accountable on this episode might depend upon the place the photographs have been taken or the place they have been put on-line.

Barton is the longest-serving congressman in Texas and his seat has at all times been thought of reliably secure for Republicans.

The picture of Barton appeared on an nameless Twitter account. It was not instantly identified who posted the picture or when it was taken.

Barton issued an initial statement saying that whereas separated from his second spouse, previous to their divorce in 2015, he had sexual relationships “with different mature grownup ladies.” Barton mentioned every relationship was consensual and has since ended.

“I’m sorry I didn’t use higher judgment throughout these days. I’m sorry that I let my constituents down,” Barton mentioned.

Barton, a member of the conservative Home Freedom Caucus, introduced his re-election bid this month. His district contains a number of counties within the Dallas-Fort Value space.

Barton was a marketing consultant within the oil and gasoline trade earlier than he was elected to Congress.

He’s at present the vice chairman of the highly effective Home Power and Commerce Committee. He was the committee’s chairman from 2004 to 2007.

Barton has additionally been the longtime supervisor of the GOP congressional baseball staff. He was participating in a staff apply in June when a gunman opened hearth, injuring one other congressman and others.

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