Nude images, videos of congresswoman and husband shared by former staffer, indictment says
Two former Capitol Hill staffers were indicted this week in connection with the alleged sharing of "private, nude images and videos" swiped from a congresswoman's cellphone.
The congresswoman is Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett, her office confirmed Thursday evening. The footage depicts Plaskett, identified in court documents as "Delegate S.P.," and her husband.
In March 2016, Plaskett entrusted her iPhone and its password to staffer Juan McCullum, who, the indictment alleges, copied the nude images and videos after offering to take the phone to an Apple store for repairs.
McCullum was indicted Tuesday by a grand jury on two counts of cyberstalking. Another former Paskett staffer, Dorene Browne-Louis, was indicted on two counts of obstruction of justice, the U.S. attorney's office in the nation's capital announced Thursday afternoon.
In July 2016, McCullum, who had left Plaskett's office, allegedly created a Hotmail email account and "sent at least eleven email messages to multiple persons, including politicians, members of the media, and other persons known to [Plaskett]."
At least 10 of the emails contained "one or more of the nudge images and videos," according to the indictment.
McCullum allegedly also created a Facebook account, uploaded the visual content, and then friended people in Plaskett's district.
Browne-Louis was allegedly told by McCullum of his activities before deleting incriminating text messages and lying to investigators and members of the grand jury.
Browne-Louis made an initial court appearance Thursday. She pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance.
McCullum's initial court appearance has not been scheduled, according to the release from the U.S. attorney's office, and it's unclear if he has been arrested.
The cyberstalking charge carries a statutory maximum of five years in prison. The obstruction of justice charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years, according to the prosecutor's office.
A spokesman for Plaskett says she will release a statement "first thing" on Friday morning.
The leaked personal contentwas covered by news publications last year after it was posted online, but it was not immediately clear who was responsible. Plaskettsaid at the time the release was "shockingly disgusting."
The non-consensual distribution of nude images and videos is not currently its own stand-alone federal crime. Legislation to make so-called "revenge porn" a federal crime was introduced last year by Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif.
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