Congressional staffers might be going to jail for sharing nude photos of a Congresswoman

This is beyond upsetting: A former Congressional staffer has been indicted for sharing nude photos of a Congresswoman after going through her cell phone. Juan McCullum has been charged with two counts of cyberstalking for distributing naked images of his boss, U.S. Virgin Islands Rep. Stacey Plaskett. Another staffer, Dorene Browne-Louis, was also indicted for two counts of obstruction of justice because she deleted McCullum’s messages and gave false statements to law enforcement.

It started off innocently. McCullum was sent by Plaskett to the local Apple store to get her phone fixed. Without her permission, he went through the phone and found pictures of her and her spouse. A little time after that, he stopped working in the office. But this is where things went wrong. Instead of just moving on from his old job, the Department of Justice said that he “engaged in a course of conduct that included creating a Hotmail account and a Facebook social media account, using a fictitious name, to distribute and post the private images and videos.” He also allegedly encouraged other people on social media to share the photos so that members of her district would see them, namely Browne-Louis, who he texted the images and videos to.

She then deleted the images, which included a topless photo of the representative and a picture of her husband wearing makeup playing with their daughter, among others.

Plaskett released a statement thanking the Department of Justice for taking care of of the situation. She said:

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."

The images were distributed last summer, when Plaskett called it a particularly “low point” for politics in the Virgin Islands (or anywhere for that matter). Browne-Louis made her first court appearance this week and pled not guilty, though she faces up to 20 years of incarceration, which could mean jail or monitored movement with electronic devices. McCullum faces five years in prison for distributing the images in the first place.