news

19-year-old city official's Grindr nudes sent to City Hall and news outlets in vile smear attempt

Private images of Cross Coburn were sent to his employer and local news organisation.

2018-03-16

A teenage city councillor from Texas has come under fire after nude photos from his Grindr profile were sent to City Hall and media outlets.

19-year-old Cross Coburn, and elected member of the City Council in Groves, Texas, was targeted this week after anonymous envelopes arrived at City Hall and media outlets KFDM and Port Arthur News.

According to Port Arthur News, the envelopes, which had no return address, included photos of Coburn shirtless as well as photos of his penis and screenshots of conversations he had with other men on the dating app.

The envelopes also included contact information for Coburn along with a statement that read: "Is this in any way proper behaviour of a councilman to represent himself online or a 'dating' app? I felt the city council should be made aware of the situation." 

The images were then published on media outlets.

Speaking to KFDM, Coburn denied any wrong-doing, saying he believed he was being targeted because of his sexuality.

"I felt like I was being harassed, being discriminated against because I'm a young gay man on City Council", he said.

"That is my personal life and no one should know about it. I'm sorry if anyone took it the wrong way but it's really nothing more complex than this is my personal life." 

Meanwhile, Groves Mayor Brad Bailey told the Port Arthur News that Coburn had done "nothing illegal", but said he believed sharing the pictures on a dating app was !unbecoming of a public official, regardless of age.”

Following the incident, Coburn's picture was removed from the city council's website, though Coburn states he has no intention of stepping down.