Sheriff linked to Sandy Hook conspiracy theory apologizes for leaked racy photo

An outspoken Oregon sheriff -- who gained national attention following a mass shooting at a community college in 2015 -- apologized this week after a photo appeared online that showed him without pants on.

In the photo, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin seems to be thrusting his pelvis at the camera, while a sticker reading “Lit Saturday” covers his genitals, according to a report.

Hanlin told the News-Review in Roseburg, Ore., the photo was likely posted by an ex-girlfriend on a fake Facebook account designed to resemble his own. The sheriff said the photo was taken in private at his home.

“Recently, my girlfriend and I ended our relationship,” Hanlin said in a statement. “After the fact, it was brought to my attention that a private photo of me was posted on a Facebook site intended to appear as if the Facebook site was mine.”

The sheriff said he “did not authorize the creation of this second site” or the posting of the photo. He said he had the photo taken down after contacting Facebook.

“I apologize for this distraction,” he said to conclude the statement.

The sheriff had also faced a troubling Facebook incident in October 2015 during his investigation of the Umpqua Community College shooting that left 10 people dead. A report at that time showed he had posted a video to his social media profile about a Sandy Hook conspiracy theory, according to the Oregonian.

The paper reported that Hanlin — an outspoken gun rights advocate — suggested in the video that the Newtown, Conn., massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, in which 20 children and six adults were killed, could have been staged by the government to warrant “disarming the public.”

He went on to call the parents who lost children at “crisis actors,” according to the paper.

Hanlin later claimed he didn't believe the conspiracy theory, the outlet said.