A Democratic state house candidate in New Mexico admitted to starring in two pornographic films in the 1980s, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported on Monday.
While making his way as a young dancer and actor in Los Angeles and New York City, Roger Montoya—or "Joe Savage," as he was known in the porn industry—starred in Hot Male Mechanics and Spring Training. Less than one month before November's general election, Montoya admitted on his Facebook campaign page that he is "not proud" of his roles in the adult films.
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"I am not proud of that choice, as I was young and naive," Montoya said in a statement. "But those experiences helped me to understand the exploitation young people face."
Montoya's statement comes after the Piñon Post, a small online outlet, posted an unconfirmed report on Sept. 30 that the porn star turned politician had "unprotected sex in multiple gay films." Montoya, who was a gymnast in his youth, also appeared in Nudes in Limbo, a 1983 film featuring athletes performing stunts in the nude, and performed as a back-up dancer in Breakin' 2: The Electric Boogaloo.
After leaving the acting business, Montoya became an HIV/AIDS activist and artist and has founded multiple nonprofits to help the homeless, drug addicts, and others. In 2008, he cofounded a nonprofit arts program for children called Moving Arts Española, for which he was named a CNN Hero in 2019.
Montoya is running to represent New Mexico's 40th state house district against Republican Justin Salazar-Torrez. He's won the endorsement of many of New Mexico's top Democrats, including U.S. senator Martin Heinrich and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, and Democratic groups like Planned Parenthood.
At the end of his statement, Montoya said he would continue to fight for the "dignity" of his community and quoted a verse from the Gospel of John: "The truth will set you free."