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Upstate South Carolina Mayor At Heart Of ‘Revenge Porn’ Saga Speaks Out

Tiffany Ownbey has some words for her critics …

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The Upstate, South Carolina mayor at the heart of a “revenge porn” saga fired back at her critics this week on social media. She also put her family’s home on the market and began offloading a number of her possessions – prompting speculation as to her political future.

As we reported last month, Tiffany Ownbey – the mayor of Belton, S.C. – is the alleged star of an undated “pornographic video” that she claimed was used against her as blackmail by a former romantic interest.

Belton is a town of approximately 4,500 people located in eastern Anderson county – roughly twenty-five miles south of Greenville, S.C. Ownbey, 34, became the first female elected mayor in Belton’s 164-year history when she defeated incumbent Wendell Page last November.

Within a year, though, her tenure has been rocked by a scandal that has turned this sleepy railroad junction town upside down.

Ownbey’s attorney, Druanne White, claimed one of the mayor’s former boyfriends “secretly videotaped a private intimate encounter on his cell phone without Tiffany’s consent.”

This news outlet was recently furnished with a copy of this recording, although we are declining to publish it (in part because we could not conclusively identify whether it was Ownbey who appeared in the tape).

(Click to view)

(Via: File)

Ownbey (above) has acknowledged appearing in a pornographic video, but she claimed the cell phone clip was recorded without her knowledge or consent.

“This same man later admitted to Tiffany that he had secretly recorded her,” Ownbey’s attorney added. “He threatened to publicly distribute the recording if she broke up with him. Tiffany informed him that she would press charges if he did so.”

The case involving Ownbey is being probed by the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). According to our sources, the agency is nearing the end of its investigation – however SLED spokesman Tommy Crosby confirmed this week that the case “remains open at this time.”

Meanwhile, Ownbey’s situation has sparked renewed discussion at the S.C. State House over whether the Palmetto State ought to adopt a “revenge porn” law. State representative Mandy Powers Norrell of Lancaster, S.C. – the 2018 Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor – has been leading the fight on this issue for several years.

Norrell’s most recent bill on this subject (H. 4088) was introduced last February, and would make it unlawful for anyone “to disseminate or sell any picture, drawing, video recording, film, digital electronic file, or other visual depiction or representation of these created by any means, or any reproduction of a picture, drawing, video recording, film, digital electronic file, or other visual depiction or representation of these that depicts another person in a state of sexually explicit nudity.”

(Click to view)

(Via: Columbia SC Photographer Travis Bell)

Norrell (above) told us last month that “revenge porn shouldn’t happen to anyone,” but when it does “law enforcement should have all the tools necessary to prosecute it.”

We agree … although we believe any such legislation would need to be very tightly worded so as not to criminalize the consensual recording and exchange of explicit information.

In the meantime, Ownbey isn’t waiting for legislation to pass – or for the SLED investigation to be concluded – to speak up on her own behalf.

Late Wednesday, the first-term mayor offered a stern rebuke of her critics – whom she described as “miserable people try to bring others down because they are simply miserable in their own lives.”

In the post, Ownbey cited several alleged examples of harassment she claims she and her family are experiencing.

“I pray for the grown adults and the ones against me every night,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “The ones terrorizing my children by using provocative and derogatory hand gestures at them as they ride by while they play outside. To the ones leaving skid marks on the road in front of our house waking our children up. We see you, we hear you and you’re on camera.”

Ownbey also addressed “grown women who work with children daily who have taken part in things that have (gone) on.”

“Just know I pray for you and I pray for your family every night,” she wrote. “I pray you accomplish everything you’re working so hard to do to hurt me and my family. I forgive you and I pray you and your children persevere in life and God blesses you beyond measure. I pray that one day I can be as perfect and mistake free as each one of you casting stones. God bless you all!”

Ownbey has also listed her family’s home – located at 608 Brown Avenue in Belton, S.C. – for sale. The listing price? A cool $1.17 million. She has also been offering “furniture and other household things” for sale on social media – including “bedroom sets, office furniture, (a) ping pong table and several other items.”

“Out with the old, in with the new,” Ownbey wrote in a message touting several of the items she was offering for sale.

Stay tuned … this news outlet will continue to keep tabs on Ownbey’s situation (including the status of the SLED investigation and her future as mayor of Belton).

-FITSNews

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Banner: Belton, S.C.

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