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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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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