A former City Council candidate in St. Paul, Minnesota, who pleaded guilty to posting a topless picture of his estranged wife to his campaign website has been sentenced to probation.

Judge Robert Awsumb on Friday placed 39-year-old David Martinez on probation for two years and ordered him to receive a mental health evaluation, avoid drugs and alcohol, and refrain from having contact with his wife.

Martinez faces about a year in prison if he violates those terms.

Martinez was charged with non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images for violating the state's revenge porn law. The complaint says the incident happened last July during a race he eventually lost in a special election.

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Court documents show Martinez posted the photo after his wife filed for a protection order against him.

The council candidate originally denied posting the photo and claimed his campaign website had been hacked, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

Martinez pleaded guilty in March as part of a deal that reduced the felony charge to a gross misdemeanour.

During the rocky campaign, Martinez was accused of domestic abuse, ejected and banned from Target Field — home of the Minnesota Twins baseball team — and arrested and banned from St Paul public libraries, Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported at the time.

Martinez went on to lose the city council race in a special election.

- AP