Capitol Police in the US are reportedly investigating leaked nude photos of a Texas GOP lawmaker
Joe Barton reportedly warned a woman that he would contact the police if she didn’t stop communicating with other women he was previously romantically involved with
By David Choi
Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas reportedly warned a woman who received “inappropriate photographs and videos” of him that he would report the matter to Capitol Hill police, according to a transcript of a 2015 phone call obtained by The Washington Post.
In the transcript of the call, Barton reportedly confronted the woman after she was discovered to have communicated with other women who were romantically involved with Barton. The woman is also believed to have forwarded explicit materials from Barton to the other women.
“I want your word that this ends,” Barton said in the recording, according to The Post. “I will be completely straight with you. I am ready if I have to, I don’t want to, but I should take all this crap to the Capitol Hill Police and have them launch an investigation. And if I do that, that hurts me potentially big time.”
Barton continued, saying that he would detail all of their exchanges to the police, including material he said he did not want to be publicly disclosed.
“... You still apparently had all of those and were in position to use them in a way that would negatively affect my career,” Barton reportedly said.
If the woman shared explicit images of Barton, that may violate Texas laws prohibiting “revenge porn,” in which people publicise such material without consent as a form of retaliation, the Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday. Violators could face a year in jail and up to a US$4,000 fine.
On Wednesday, Barton said in a statement that Capitol Police would launch an investigation into the incident. Capitol Police could not be reached by Business Insider for comment Wednesday evening.
“When I ended that relationship, she threatened to publicly share my private photographs and intimate correspondence in retaliation,” Barton said, according to The Post.
The woman reportedly had been in contact with Barton for five years, beginning in 2011, after she published a message on his Facebook page, The Post said. Barton said he had a sexual encounter with the woman, and allegedly sent a video of himself in a sexual act.
Barton, who claims the two had a consensual relationship, was still married when they became romantically involved, according to The Post.
The report comes at the heels of another damaging incident for Barton. On Tuesday, an anonymous Twitter account posted an explicit photo and included text messages that were allegedly made by Barton. It was not immediately clear whether the photo was also linked to the alleged Capitol Police investigation.
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