Mark Sanford responds to trespassing charge

gsmith@islandpacket.comApril 17, 2013 

FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2012 file photo, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford leaves The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. A lawyer says Sanford trespassed at his ex-wife's home and he has been ordered to appear in court two days after his special congressional election. Documents acquired by The Associated Press Tuesday, April 16, 2013 say Jenny Sanford confronted her ex-husband leaving her South Carolina home on Feb. 3. (AP Photo/Bruce Smith, File)


First Congressional District candidate Mark Sanford responded Wednesday to legal documents that claim he trespassed Feb. 3 onto his ex-wife's property at the Sullivan's Island beach house the couple used to share.

"It's an unfortunate reality that divorced couples sometimes have disagreements that spill over into family court," said a statement released by Sanford's campaign Wednesday. "I did indeed watch the second half of the Super Bowl at the beach house with our 14-year-old son because as a father I didn't think he should watch it alone. Given she was out of town, I tried to reach her beforehand to tell her of the situation that had arisen, and met her at the back steps under the light of my cell phone when she returned and told her what had happened. There is always another side to every story, and while I am particularly curious how records that were sealed to avoid the boys dealing with embarrassment are now somehow exposed less than three weeks before this election, I agree with Jenny that the media is no place to debate what is ultimately a family court matter, and out of respect for Jenny and the boys, I'm not going to have any further comment at this time."

Mark Sanford, a two-term governor from 2003-2011, must appear in court to answer the complaint, filed by Jenny Sanford's lawyer, two days after the May 7 special election to fill the vacant congressional seat, according to the Associated Press.

The media outlet also reported that Jenny Sanford confronted her ex-husband leaving her Sullivan's Island home on Feb. 3, using his cellphone for a flashlight. Her attorney filed a complaint the next day. The couple's divorce settlement says neither can enter the other's home without permission.

Jenny Sanford has previously warned Mark Sanford about coming to her home in the past and told him to stop, including having her attorney send a letter to him and police, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Sanford was caught having an affair with an Argentinian woman, Maria Belen Chapur, in 2009 while he was governor.

He survived an impeachment attempt, but his marriage did not.

Mark Sanford is now engaged to Chapur. The couple appeared together at Sanford's victory party following his April 2 GOP runoff win.

Sanford faces Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in a May 7 special election.

Follow reporter Gina Smith at

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