Tuesday, 23 January, 2018

Ex-Staffers For Congresswoman Indicted For Distributing Her Nude Photos

Trump Acknowledges Strong Bond With Macron ALAIN JOCARD  AFP  Getty Images Trump Acknowledges Strong Bond With Macron ALAIN JOCARD AFP Getty Images
Nicole Thomas | 15 July, 2017, 01:30

McCullum was not given permission to take, copy, or distribute any of the contents of the iPhone, which contained the private, nude images and videos, authorities alleged.

The federal indictment against Juan McCullum, 35, and Dorene Browne-Louis, 45, was unsealed Thursday.

The indictment identifies the House member as "Delegate S.P.", but Democrat Stacey Paskett, a non-voting House representative from the U.S. Virgin Islands, confirmed in a statement that she was the victim at the center of the indictment. McCullum allegedly then created Facebook and Hotmail accounts with fictitious names and published the images, and encouraged social media users to spread them around the lawmaker's home district.

Both staffers worked for Plaskett from early 2016 until the spring of 2016, but it is unclear whether they were acting out of a desire for revenge related to their employment status.

A court appearance for McCullum - who boasts a famous bull dog and a reality show past with an appearance on VH1's "I love New York" - has not yet been scheduled. The website V.I. Consortium also printed an article that appeared to condemn Plaskett, by providing detailed descriptions of the private content and suggesting it reflects upon Plaskett's parenting.

In March 2016, the indictment says, McCullum offered help fix the House member's "malfunctioning, password-protected cellular iPhone by taking the device to a local Apple store".

Between July 2 and July 21 of a year ago, McCullum allegedly sent at least 11 emails with nude photos and videos of Plaskett to members of the media and other lawmakers.

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According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Mr. McCullum alerted Ms. Browne-Louis to his actions, who later deleted Mr. McCullum's text messages from her phone and gave "false, incomplete, and misleading statements" to law enforcement about her knowledge of Mr. McCullum's actions.

McCullum is accused of sending some of the material to Browne-Louis along with text messages about the videos and images.

According to the Justice Department, cyberstalking carries a maximum of five years in prison, while obstruction of justice charges carry a much higher maximum sentence of 20 years.

"To say my family and I are greatly upset would be a tremendous understatement". She also said she was outraged by the "shockingly disgusting invasion of my family's and my privacy", and suggested there could have been political motivations for the leaks. Her office told POLITICO at the time that it had reported the incident to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Capitol Police.

The case is now under investigation by U.S. Capitol Police.

Plaskett, in her second term in the nonvoting position, said in a statement that her privacy had been invaded previous year and that "an organized smear campaign and defamatory press reports concerning both me and my family" had followed.

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