INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana legislator issued an apology Tuesday for what he calls "poor judgment" following an online report that he sent nude photographs of himself and gifts to a woman tied to a 2013 sexting scandal involving a former New York congressman.
Rep. Justin Moed, D-Indianapolis, did not directly address the sexting allegations. However, his apology followed a report on thedirty.com that identified Moed as the "sexting" partner of a woman named Sydney Leathers, a former Evansville-area resident who also was the recipient of multiple sexual messages from former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner in 2013.
Weiner, who resigned from Congress after a previous sexting scandal, lost his bid for New York mayor after more pictures and sexts were released between him and Leathers.
The website reported Tuesday that Moed began communicating with Leathers after he responded to an online advertisement. It said he remained anonymous until his name appeared on a gift he sent Leathers. The New York Post reported last week that Leathers had been 'sexting' with an unnamed Democratic state lawmaker from the Midwest.
Moed issued the following statement after deleting his Twitter account Tuesday afternoon:
"I am truly sorry I have hurt the ones I love most with my poor judgment. I am committed to rebuilding trust with my family and my community. This is a private matter and I ask for it to be treated as such. I apologize to my constituents and to everyone I have let down."
Moed was engaged to be married in September.
Moed is serving his second term in the Indiana House and represents District 97, which covers parts of Center Township, Perry Township in the south and Wayne Township on the west side.
Can Moed salvage his political career following his sexting scandal?
IUPUI Political Analyst Dr. Amanda Friesen tells WIBC that really depends on how Moed and state democratic leaders handle the situation. Friesen says a big question is whether or not voters feel betrayed by someone some people might call, "an average single man in America."
She says it's best for politicians in negative circumstances to admit their mistakes, apologize, make amends and move on. Friesen says many people including Moed's constituents may not even know who he is. She says in this case, he might not suffer much fallout.
RTV6 Political Insider Abdul-Hakim Shabazz offered his thoughts:
"It depends on how does he conduct himself over the next few weeks, how do the constituents in his district decide to deal with it. We're kind of past the point now of throwing someone off the ballot, because the election is not until 2016."