2 Former Staffers Charged for Spreading Nude Images of U.S. House Member, Stalking Her and Her Husband

Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett. (U.S. House Office of Photography)

Two former staff members have been charged in the circulation of nude images and video of an elected representative to Congress and her husband, federal prosecutors and the U.S. Capitol Police announced Thursday in Washington.

Juan R. McCullum, 35, of Washington, was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of cyberstalking, and a co-worker, Dorene Browne-Louis, 45, of Upper Marlboro, Md., was indicted on two counts of obstruction of justice, said U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Channing D. Phillips and Capitol Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa in a statement.

The charging documents state that both defendants worked for the same official, who is identified in the filings by the initials S.P.

Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett (D), confirmed Thursday in statement that she is “S.P.,” saying that “last year, my privacy was invaded, which was followed by an organized smear campaign and defamatory press reports concerning both me and my family.”

Plaskett said of her family that “we continue to be saddened by the damage we suffered as a result of those egregious acts,” while thanking investigators for their work and people in the Virgin Islands for their support.

Some of the personal photographs surfaced on the Internet in July 2016 shortly before a primary election.

According to the indictment, McCullum worked from April 2015 until June 2016 in the House member’s legislative office in Washington. Browne-Louis worked in the same office from January 2015 until April 2016.

Public staff records show both worked for Plaskett during those times, McCullum as a legislative counsel and Browne-Lewis as a scheduler.

According to an indictment handed up Tuesday and unsealed Thursday, McCullum offered in March 2016 to help take a House member’s malfunctioning, password-protected iPhone to a local Apple store to be repaired.

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.

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SOURCE: The Washington Post, Spencer S. Hsu