LOS ANGELES (AP) — A New Hampshire state lawmaker producing and starring in a porn film assaulted his business partner in California after he felt his scenes didn’t go well, according to a civil lawsuit filed by the partner.
Jonathan Carter filed the suit Friday in Southern California seeking unspecified damages following a June incident that he claims involved state Rep. Frank Sapareto. Sapareto has denied the allegations and said he is the victim of an extortion attempt.
Police issued a citation to Sapareto for a misdemeanor battery investigation when he was in California in June but prosecutors declined to file charges because of insufficient evidence, said Simi Valley police Sgt. Steve Shorts.
The civil suit said that Carter, 38, and Sapareto, 58, formed a partnership to make adult movies and Sapareto would star in the first film.
It said Sapareto filmed scenes for the movie in California but became upset with how they went and the next day went to Carter’s home and hit him in the head, face and body. Carter claims he suffered a concussion.
Sapareto, a Republican from Derry, New Hampshire, denied the allegations, knowing Carter or having any business involvement with the adult film industry.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Sapareto said in a phone interview Friday.
“Wow, that’s a great story,” he said, laughing. “I haven’t heard that one. I thought we were all done going after men.”
He said Monday that he joined with Carter and invested roughly $5,000 to make tourism videos but got concerned on his trip to California when Carter told him he was involved in an insurance fraud case and knew people involved in porn movies.
Sapareto said he dropped off cameras he had bought for the venture at Carter’s home and denied assaulting him.
“I said, ‘here is the equipment, everything is fine, goodbye, and shook hands and that’s it,” Sapareto said. “I trusted him and I should never have done that, obviously. In today’s age, all it takes is an accusation — everybody is guilty now. He knows that, so he figured, ‘I am going to finish this guy’s career.'”
Sapareto said Carter called him in July to demand money — a claim that Carter’s attorney Eric Dubin denied.
Carter, who makes graphic T-shirts, has not contacted Sapareto since the reported assault, Dubin said. He said the suit seeks unspecified punitive damages and “reaches a new level of needing to deter others, especially in high office.”
Carter has about seven hours of footage for a film that purported to tell the story of an apocalypse with adult film actresses searching for the last remaining man, Dubin said.
In a police report provided by Dubin, authorities say Sapareto told them that he met Carter online under a different name while seeking a business partner to make an adult film. Sapareto said he told police that Carter — not he — was involved in the porn industry.
A certificate of formation for a company in New Hampshire called Standard Video LLC lists Sapareto as a “member.”
Sapareto, who is in his seventh term in the House and is vice chair of the criminal justice and public safety committee, previously served in the state Senate. In 2013, he was convicted of simple assault for pushing his girlfriend’s daughter but served no jail time. He once sponsored legislation to change the simple assault laws so that any fight entered into by “mutual consent” would only be a violation, not a misdemeanor. That bill failed to pass the Legislature.
He is running for re-election next month and said if he wins, he plans to run for House speaker.
“I imagine this is probably just another bump along the way,” he said.
Ramer reported from Concord, New Hampshire.