Washington, D.C. - Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), 68, had warned a woman that he would call the police if she released his sexually explicit photos, videos, and messages. She went ahead and did just that, and he did what he promised to do.
This is not another case of a politician or celebrity being accused of sexual harassment. By all indications, the sexually explicit content was shared between Barton and the woman over a period of years while they were in a consensual sexual relationship.
We will not be sharing the nude photos because Barton is a crime victim.
Washington Post reporters spoke with the woman and reported on a recording that the woman had made of Barton warning her that he would go to police. The newspaper called it "an attempt to intimidate her."
“I want your word that this ends,” he said, according to the recording, adding: “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.”
“Why would you even say that to me?” the woman responded. “The Capitol Hill police? And what would you tell them, sir?”
Said Barton: “I would tell them that I had a three-year undercover relationship with you over the Internet that was heavily sexual and that I had met you twice while married and had sex with you on two different occasions and that I exchanged inappropriate photographs and videos with you that I wouldn’t like to be seen made public, that you still apparently had all of those and were in position to use them in a way that would negatively affect my career. That’s the truth.”
People on the internet are now gleefully sharing Barton's nude photos and making him out to be some kind of pervert, and the woman to be the victim.
The Washington Post reporter behind the story even took to Twitter to try to find people to accuse Barton of being a pervert:
After his nude pictures were spread around the internet, Barton apologized on Wednesday for being the victim of revenge porn.
"While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women," Barton said. "Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down."
U.S. Capitol Police have now launched an investigation into the matter.