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New York county legislator admits sending photo of genitals to teen girl, says image meant for wife

"I reached out for help not to be sexually harassed," the victim said about contacting Monroe County legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell.

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NAACP logo
NAACP logo
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Updated: January 18, 2021 - 7:05pm

A county legislator in New York has admitted to sending a picture of his genitals to a 19-year-old woman but says he intended to send the photo to his wife.  

The Monroe County legislator, Ernest Flagler-Mitchell, admitted on Saturday that he had sent the picture – the same day the young woman issued a statement saying he sexually harassed her and she called for his resignation.

The incidents also occurred the same day Flagler-Mitchell was sworn in as president of a local NAACP chapter.

Flagler-Mitchell claims he is being blackmailed over the incident because of his work for minority communities.

The statement from the victim also alleges other victims of the legislator’s predatory behavior, according to the Daily Wire. 

The legislator met the young woman following a 2020 shooting and offered his contact information if she ever needed help.

"He gave his county legislature business card and told me if I ever needed anything to give him a call," the young woman also says in the statement. "I reached out for help not to be sexually harassed."

She also wrote: "No one should be in a position where they turned to their elected official for help and are met with unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate messages. I am only 19 years old."

Flagler-Mitchell said in part in a statement: "In November, I sent a picture intended for my wife to an individual I was working with. I took immediate responsibility for my mistake. … I fully believed this matter was resolved at that time, but subsequently I have been contacted both directly and indirectly by politically connected individuals who have tried to use this mistake as a form of blackmail to force me into abandoning the Black and Asian Caucus in the Legislature." 

Flagler-Mitchell also said he's consulted legal counsel and is asking law enforcement to investigate the purported extortion.

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