Former aides to a Democratic congresswoman have been indicted by the District of Colombia Court amid allegations that they obtained nude images from her iPhone, posted the images on social media, and hid the truth from investigators.
Juan McCullum and Dorene Browne-Louis were formerly aides to non-voting delegate Stacey Plaskett, who represents the Virgin Islands, and are charged with two counts of cyberstalking and obstruction of justice respectively.
McCullum, a 35-year-old ex-reality show star, is accused of having gained access to nude images of Plaskett and her husband last year while taking the congresswoman's iPhone to an Apple Store to be repaired. McCullum then allegedly posted the photos under a fake account on Facebook, the social media site that recently reached the two billion user mark, as well as sharing the images with reporters and politicians.
Browne-Louis is accused of deleting text messages that McCullum sent to her that informed her of his nefarious plans to circulate the congresswoman's photos, as well as being accused of making "false, incomplete, and misleading statements" to legal authorities.
Plaskett condemned the "egregious acts" of her former staffers, and expressed her gratitude towards law enforcement authorities in a statement on her website:
Last year, my privacy was invaded, which was followed by an organized smear campaign and defamatory press reports concerning both me and my family. I was informed today that preliminary arrests had been made of individuals who are alleged to have been involved in those illegal acts. I am deeply grateful to the Capitol Police and U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia for their thorough and in depth investigation of the crimes committed against me, and those who I love.
A statement released by the District of Columbia indicates that Browne-Louis pled not-guilty to the charges at her first court appearance, while McCullum's first appearance has yet to be scheduled.