Ex-Minnesota City Council Candidate Sentenced to Probation For Posting Revenge Porn of Wife on Campaign Website

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Former St. Paul City Council candidate David Martinez was sentenced to probation on Friday for posting revenge porn of his wife on his campaign website. Ramsey County Sheriff's Office

A former Minnesota city council candidate was sentenced to probation last week for posting revenge porn of his estranged wife to his campaign website.

Ex-St. Paul City Council candidate David Martinez, 39, was sentenced to two years probation on Friday by Ramsey County District Judge Robert Awsumb after he pleaded guilty to posting a bare-chested image of his estranged wife online, reported the Associated Press.

The judge also ordered Martinez to undergo a mental health evaluation and prohibited him from contacting his wife and taking drugs and alcohol. If he breaches the terms, Martinez is expected to be jailed for up to a year.

Martinez pleaded guilty in March after being charged last December with nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images for breaching the state's revenge porn law. In doing so, prosecutors agreed to drop the charge from a felony to a gross misdemeanor.

In July 2018, Martinez' wife, who has not been named, was alerted by a neighbor to a nude image of her that was posted to the candidate's website, prompting her to immediately report the page to authorities, reported the Star Tribute. Alongside the image, Martinez had also posted a link to a protection order she had filed against him a day earlier and text that claimed the allegations she made were fabricated.

Initially, Martinez told authorities his campaign website had been hacked and denied his involvement in posting the image.

Martinez' wife said her husband took the image of her on a Puerto Rico beach but asserted that she never gave him permission to share it publically online. Her face appeared in the photo.

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter called for Martinez to drop out of the race for St. Paul's Fourth Ward seat. Meanwhile, his fellow Ward Four candidate Shirley Erstad condemned her fellow candidate for his actions and expressed condolences for the victim.

"I know how terrifying it is to be threatened in the way Mrs. Martinez describes and my heart goes out to her and their children," Erstad told Pioneer Press in June 2018. "As a woman and mother of three daughters, I am all too aware of the repercussions of sexual exploitation and violence against women and the consequences when good people stand by and say nothing. I support Mayor Carter's position. Mr. Martinez's actions against his family and the broader community are completely unacceptable and disqualify him from holding public office."

Despite pressure from local politicians, Martinez chose to remain in the ballot. In August, he lost the election to Mitra Jalali Nelson, coming in at third place with roughly five percent of first-choice votes.

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Former St. Paul City Council candidate David Martinez was sentenced to probation on Friday for posting revenge porn of his wife on his campaign website. Ramsey County Sheriff's Office
Ex-Minnesota City Council Candidate Sentenced to Probation For Posting Revenge Porn of Wife on Campaign Website | U.S.