Texas Congressman Joe Barton apologizes for graphic photo

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Congressman Barton is apologizing for a graphic photo of himself that has been circulating online. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republican Congressman Joe Barton of Texas is apologizing for a graphic photo of himself that has been circulating on social media this week, and which he now confirms he took and sent around.

In a statement to the Texas Tribune, Barton suggests he sent the image to adult women with whom he was pursuing a relationship while separated from his wife. ABC News has reached out to Barton's office for further explanation.

There is no indication at this time that the images were unwelcome, non-consensual, predatory or otherwise harassing.

Barton has been a vocal advocate against sexual predators online. He was also a member of a congressional task force and spoke at a press conference on Capitol Hill alongside victims in 2007.
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