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Former St. Paul City Council candidate admits to posting topless photo of wife online

ST. PAUL — A former candidate for St. Paul City Council admitted to posting a topless photo of his wife online while he was running for the city’s Ward 4 seat.

David Martinez, 39, made the admission in Ramsey County District Court Tuesday when he pleaded guilty to one count of non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images.

As part of his plea deal, prosecutors agreed that the felony charge would be sentenced as a gross misdemeanor, according to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office. Martinez is expected to receive a one-year stayed jail sentence and be placed on probation for two years. He also is expected to complete a psychological evaluation.

Martinez is scheduled to be sentenced May 10.

The incident took place last July 14, a day after the woman filed for an order for protection against Martinez, according to the complaint.

Martinez’s estranged wife confirmed to an investigator that the photo was of her, St. Paul police have said.

The image was posted to the site David Martinez for City Council, Ward 4 as part of a blog post titled “Transparency,” the complaint said.

Martinez initially denied posting the image and said his campaign website had been hacked.

His run ended last August when he lost to Mitra Jalali Nelson in a special election.

His attorney, Shawn Betts, declined to comment.