Former staffer indicted for spreading nude images of lawmaker

Former staffer indicted for spreading nude images of lawmaker
Posted at 10:22 PM, Jul 13, 2017

A former congressional staffer was indicted Thursday on charges that he spread nude and embarrassing images online of his lawmaker boss, the delegate to Congress from the US Virgin Islands.

According to court documents, Juan McCullum took "private, nude images and videos" from the cellphone of Del. Stacey Plaskett in March 2016 after offering to "assist (the delegate) in repairing her malfunctioning, password-protected cellular phone by taking her iPhone to a local Apple store."

The following July, an indictment alleges, McCullum created a fake email account and sent at least 10 messages with one or more of the images attached to members of the media, other politicians and people known to Plaskett. He also posted the images online to a phony Facebook account, the indictment says.

McCullum, 35, is charged with two counts of cyberstalking. Another former Plaskett staffer, Dorene Browne-Louis, faces obstruction of justice charges for allegedly misleading law enforcement on the case and deleting text messages from McCullum, according to the Thursday indictment.

In a statement, Plaskett said that she was "deeply grateful to the Capitol Police and US Attorney for the District of Columbia for their thorough and in depth investigating of the crimes committed against me and those who I love."

"While we continue to be saddened by the damage we suffered as a result of those egregious acts, my family is also incredibly thankful to the people of the Virgin Islands, who have shown us tremendous care, sensitivity and love throughout this ordeal," Plaskett said.

An aide to the delegate last year told CNN the images included a topless photo of Plaskett and an "innocent" video of her husband wearing make-up and playing with their daughter.

McCullum, in an interview with DC newspaper "The Hill" in 2015, identified himself as a general counsel to Plaskett.

In the profile, where he was named one of the "50 most beautiful people" in politics, McCullum discussed his time as a reality TV star on the VH1 show "I love New York."

He wasn't embarrassed to be on reality TV, he told the paper, adding, "It's part of my journey in life."

The cyberstalking charge carries a maximum of five years in prison.

McCullum's first court appearance has not yet been scheduled, according a press release from the DC US Attorney's office. Browne-Louis, 45, pled not guilty to her charges in district court Thursday, the release says.

An attorney for Browne-Louis could not be immediately reached. McCullum's attorney has not yet been publicly named.