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Shawn Hunter acquitted of sending inappropriate photo, plans to run for city council

A judge acquitted Roanoke peace activist Shawn Hunter who sent a picture of his genitalia to a Roanoke Times Reporter. (Photo: WSET)

ROANOKE, Va. (WSET) -- A judge acquitted Roanoke peace activist Shawn Hunter who sent a picture of his genitalia to a Roanoke Times Reporter.

The judge said that while Hunter made a bad decision in send the reporter the photo, what he did was not criminal.

"I feel great and I'm glad that justice was served," Hunter said.

The case stemmed from October 2017 when Hunter messaged the photo to the reporter. The two worked together previously, as Hunter is the president of the community group, The Peacemakers.

According to Hunter, the photo was meant for someone else.

The reporter said this was another incident of her being harassed by Hunter, which what the defense argued in court on Monday.

"I'm sorry that she was offended by it. Most people would be. But that doesn't elevate it to a crime. I suppose we've all seen things sent to us that we didn't ask for, but just because it offends her sensibilities doesn't evevate it to a criminal act," said defense attorney Deborah Caldwell-Bono.

The judge ruled that he believed that Hunter sent the message accidentally and dismissed one of the charges. In addition, he found him not guilty of the others.

Hunter is planning to run for Roanoke City Council. He said he knows that these charges will haunt him as he campaigns.

Currently, Hunter has not filed paperwork to run based on the city registrar.

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