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Palm Coast Thursday, Mar. 29, 2018 5 months ago

Joe Mullins’ ex-wife stands by accusation that he transmitted a nude photo of her without permission

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Joe Mullins also said he was never contacted by law enforcement about a separate nude photo incident, but a Columbia County major said, ‘That’s not correct.’
by: Jonathan Simmons and Brian McMillan

Seven years after Joe Mullins divorced his wife Kim Mullins, he sent to another man a nude photo of her without her permission in 2011, she said in a Georgia family court document.

Joe Mullins, now a candidate for the District 4 Flagler County Commission seat, told the Palm Coast Observer on March 15 that his ex-wife had since “corrected” her statement and admitted that the photo was not of her. And although a Georgia newspaper covered the story in 2015 and included a photograph of the court document, Joe Mullins told the Palm Coast Observer that the document shown in the news story wasn’t filed in court and that he’d never seen it before that story was published.

“I never got that,” he said. “We don’t even know where this came from. But my ex-wife, if she made a comment like that, she corrected it. ... I heard of pictures circulating around in (the) high school, but they weren’t her is what she stated. ... I never got served by the police. I never got called by the police. I never got asked about it. So it’s words passing. It was choreographed and orchestrated.”

Joe Mullins speaks at a March 7 candidate forum. (File photo)

Joe Mullins gave the Palm Coast Observer his ex-wife’s phone number to confirm. But after she declined to comment in a March 21 phone call, she called the Palm Coast Observer on March 26 and said she stands by the accusation in the court document, which was filed as a counterclaim to accusations he had made against her in connection with the divorce case. 

The court document, according to the Columbia County (Georgia) Clerk of Court, was filed in September 2012 and contains a signed statement by Kim Mullins’ attorney stating that the attorney delivered the document to Joe Mullins through Joe Mullins’ attorney. Joe Mullins’ attorney did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation. 

In 2015, Kim Mullins visited the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office to ask deputies to investigate the 2011 case. She was dissatisfied that the nude photo allegation had not been prosecuted. 

“It was humiliating, and I did suffer for it,” Kim Mullins told the Palm Coast Observer.

Maj. Steve Morris informed her that if the alleged transmission of the photo occurred in 2011, three years before passage of a Georgia law prohibiting the transmission of nude or sexually explicit photos against the subject’s will, it was not something that could be prosecuted. Therefore no charges were filed.

But, she told the Palm Coast Observer, Joe Mullins did know that she still stood by the allegation. She said she spoke on the phone with him about it as recently as March 12, three days before Joe Mullins told the Palm Coast Observer, “she corrected it.” When told on March 28 that his ex-wife had spoken to the Palm Coast Observer to confirm the allegations, Joe Mullins declined to comment. He stated that he has filed a defamation suit against the radio show host who first reported on the allegation in 2015. 

Joe Mullins’ statement that the “pictures circulating around in (the) high school ... weren’t her” does not align with the allegation made in the 2012 court document, but it does align partially with a separate incident, in 2014. 

In that incident, Kim Mullins contacted the Sheriff’s Office to report that a nude photo was being circulated at a Georgia school. She had seen the photo and knew it was of someone else, but the photo was sent with some text claiming that it was of her.

Although Joe Mullins had mentioned the 2014 school incident in reply to the Palm Coast Observer’s question about the 2012 court document, “He definitely knew these were two separate cases,” Kim Mullins said.

And Joe Mullins’ statement that he was never called by police about the incident was contradicted by Maj. Morris.

“One of my investigators (in 2014) ... spoke with him,” Morris said. “He denied it, and it was closed without an arrest. If he’s saying he never spoke with anyone about it, that’s not correct.”

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