Arizona Senate aide quits over reported texts to ex-lawmaker

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

An Arizona Senate staffer has quit and believes she was a victim of revenge porn following reports that she exchanged suggestive text messages with a Republican congressional candidate while he was a state senator, the woman's attorney said.

Her former boyfriend stole material from her home computer and widely distributed it, the woman's attorney, Tom Ryan, told the Arizona Capitol Times.

Ryan wouldn't reveal their identities but said his client voluntarily left her job Wednesday after KPNX-TV and The Arizona Republic reported the texts this week, which included a topless photo of the woman.

[READ MORE: Reports suggest GOP House hopeful got racy texts from aide]

The woman is "devastated" by the disclosures, Ryan said.

The texts supposedly went to Steve Montenegro, who quit his Senate seat in December to run for the U.S. House seat vacated by Republican Trent Franks. Montenegro is among 12 Republicans and two Democrats running in Tuesday's special primary election.

[RELATED: 13 Republicans, 3 Democrats file for ex-US Rep. Franks seat]

The allegations against Montenegro, a married Christian minister, come after Franks resigned in December as he acknowledged that he had discussed surrogacy with two female staffers. A former aide told The Associated Press that he pressed her to carry his child and offered her $5 million to be a surrogate.

[READ MORE: Rep. Trent Franks resigns immediately amid surrogacy allegation]

Montenegro denounced the reports on the texts as "tabloid trash" in a Facebook post but didn't deny receiving the messages.

He told the Washington Examiner in an opinion piece published Wednesday that he didn't solicit the topless photo and that political foes were trying to sabotage his congressional candidacy with revenge porn.

[MORE: Special election for Arizona's Congressional District 8]

Montenegro also said he "did not have any inappropriate relationships with this woman" but was "too comfy or too familiar, as seen in some of those texts."

Before the news reports came out, Ryan said he had emailed the woman's ex-boyfriend to tell him to destroy the materials he took and not show or discuss them with anyone.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona politics]

"And then I find out that not only has he shown stuff to people, he's shopped it" all over town, the attorney said.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

© 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.