Two former staffers to a member of Congress have been charged in connection to the distribution of nude images and videos taken from her cellphone, federal prosecutors and the U.S. Capitol Police announced Thursday in Washington.
According to the Washington Post, Juan R. McCullum, 35, was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of cyberstalking, and a co-worker, Dorene Browne-Louis, 45, 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.
In 2015 McCullum was named fifth on the “50 Most Beautiful” people in politics by the Hill. He also appeared as “Pretty” on VH1’s “I Love New York.”
Both McCullum and Browne-Louis worked for Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett (D), who released a statement on Thursday which read: “Last year, my privacy was invaded, which was followed by an organized smear campaign and defamatory press reports concerning both me and my family.”
According to the indictment, McCullum worked from April 2015 until June 2016 in the House member’s legislative office in Washington. McCullum worked as a legislative counsel and Browne-Lewis was a scheduler.
Based on reports, McCullum took a House member’s phone to the Apple store for repair in March 2016. Later that year in July, personal photos of Plaskett appeared on Facebook and were sent through emails.
When McCullum left Plaskett’s staff in July 2016, he allegedly created a fake Hotmail account and a fake Facebook account to post the photos. The indictment also alleged that McCullum texted Browne-Louis and emailed her some of the material.
Federal investigators launched an investigation and alleged that Browne-Louis deleted McCullum’s texts from her phone and gave false and misleading statements to them and the grand jury.
On Thursday, Browne-Louis pleaded not guilty to the obstruction of justice charges, which carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and was released on personal recognizance, authorities said.
McCullum has not yet appeared in court and could get up to five years in prison.
(Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)