A Convicted Sex Offender Was the Face of a New Trump Dating Site

The photo has now been removed.

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A new dating site intended for Trump-admirers seeking other Trump-admirers for romance, Trump.Dating, up until the last few days featured the image of a convicted sex offender, Barrett Riddleberger, alongside his wife Jodi on its homepage, wearing his-and-hers hats reading “Trump” and “Make America Great Again.” 

Details of Riddleberger’s past were first reported by North Carolina paper Greensboro News & Record, in an article published in 2014, and resurfaced this week after local news outlets looked into Riddleberger’s history.

Riddleberger was convicted of “indecent liberty with a child”, a felony, in 1995, according to North Carolina Department of Public Safety records. Although the file doesn’t describe the crime in detail, the conviction reportedly stemmed from a 1993 incident in which Riddleberger videotaped himself having sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 25, according to the News & Record account.

The site claims to “make dating great again” by “wrecking the dating game and giving like-minded Americans a chance to meet without the awkwardness that comes with the first conversation about politics,” according to their website, and has attracted criticism for only allowing users to sign up as “straight men” or “straight women.” (It’s unclear what role, if any, the Riddlebergers play at Trump.Dating, and how their photo came to be featured.)

Riddleberger appeared to confirm he had been convicted in an interview with WRAL, on Monday. “I’ve already paid my debt for something I did 25 years ago,” he said.

Although Trump.Dating did not respond to a request for comment from Mother Jones, the site now features a new couple (below). We also reached out to Riddleberger for his reactions and more information, but have not heard back. We’ll update this post if we do.

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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