Two former staff members of Congress were indicted Thursday for sharing nude photos and videos of a female lawmaker and her husband on Facebook.
Juan R. McCullum, 35, and Dorene Browne-Louis, 45, allegedly circulated pictures of a House of Representatives member identified simply as “Delegate S.P.,” according to prosecutors.
The pair had been employed by Rep. Stacey Plaskett — a Democrat from the Virgin Islands who claimed to have been hacked last summer.
Her office confirmed to US News & World Report on Thursday night that she was, in fact, the aforementioned victim.
In a statement last year, Plaskett told Politico that someone had infiltrated her computer and copied personal “photographs and a private family video” of she and her husband, Jonathan Buckney-Small.
The “bizarre” footage appeared to show Plaskett filming a naked Buckney-Small donning makeup.
The congresswoman contacted the FBI and U.S. Capitol Police, as a result, but didn’t hear anything for months.
On Tuesday, McCullum was finally indicted by a grand jury on two counts of cyberstalking. Browne-Lewis was slapped with two counts of obstruction of justice.
According to the indictment, McCullum offered to fix Plaskett’s iPhone in March 2016.
He was given the password to unlock the device and sent to an Apple Store, prosecutors said.
At some point, McCullum apparently stumbled upon the “private, nude images and videos” featuring Plaskett and her husband — and decided to copy them.
He wound up leaving her office and getting a new job that July, which is when he allegedly began sharing the explicit content.
“After McCullum left the House member’s staff, he engaged in a course of conduct that included creating a Hotmail account and a Facebook social media account, using a fictitious name, to distribute and post the private images and videos,” prosecutors said. “Further…he encouraged others on social media to redistribute the images and videos in the member’s congressional district.”
Between July 2 and July 21 of last year, McCullum allegedly sent at least 11 emails with nude photos and videos of Plaskett to members of the media and other lawmakers.
Prosecutors say Browne-Louis was well-aware of his scheme — even going so far as to delete incriminating text messages and lie to investigators, as well as members of the grand jury. She pleaded not guilty during her initial court appearance on Thursday and was released on her own recognizance, US News & World reports.
McCullum is still waiting to make his first appearance. It was unclear as of 8 p.m. whether he was still in custody.
The Mississippi-born ex-Hill staffer faces five years in prison if convicted. Browne-Louis, on the otherhand, could be sentenced to up to 20 years behind bars if found guilty.
Source: New York Post
Featured Image: plaskett.house.gov
Inset Image: Virgin Islands Free Press