Ex-Staffers Distributed Nude Photos of Congress Member: Feds - NBC Bay Area
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Ex-Staffers Distributed Nude Photos of Congress Member: Feds

One ex-staffer allegedly sent the nude photos and videos to politicians and journalists a month before the Democratic primary election



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    Two former employees of the U.S. House of Representatives have been indicted for allegedly circulating private, nude photos and videos of a Congress member and the member’s spouse, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Thursday.

    A grand jury indicted 35-year-old Juan R. McCullum, of Washington, D.C., on two counts of cyberstalking. The jury also indicted McCullum's former coworker, 45-year-old Dorene Browne-Louis, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, on two counts of obstruction of justice.

    According to the indictment, McCullum offered to help repair the Congress member's iPhone in March 2016 by taking the device to a local Apple store. The iPhone had private, nude photos and videos on it.

    Federal prosecutors say that a month before the Democratic primary election held on Aug. 6, 2017, McCullum created a Facebook account with a fake name, Susan Ricenville. He friended many Facebook users, including those of politicians competing with the member of Congress, prosecutors say.

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    On the page, McCullum allegedly posted several nude photos and videos taken from the phone and "encouraged others on Facebook to redistribute the nude images and videos throughout [the member's] congressional district."

    Between July 2 and July 21 of that year, McCullum also allegedly sent at least 11 emails with nude photos and videos of the member of Congress. Politicians and members of the media were among the recipients.

    McCullum appeared on the VH1 TV show "I Love New York" and in 2015 was named the No. 5 Most Beautiful person on Capitol Hill by The Hill. According to that report, McCullum worked for Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands).

    In July 2016, Plaskett said in a statement someone had copied personal photos and a private family video of her and her husband, according to a Politico report. Plaskett said her political enemies were behind the leak, the report said.

    McCullum sent text messages and emails to Browne-Louis about distributing the images, according to the indictment.

    Browne-Louis allegedly deleted texts from McCullum from her phone in addition to making false, incomplete and misleading statements to law enforcement and a federal grand jury about what she know about McCullum's actions, the indictment said.

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    McCullum worked from April 2015 to June 2016 in the House member's office in D.C., according to the indictment. Browne-Louis worked in the same office from January 2015 to April 2016.

    Browne-Louis appeared Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on personal recognizance pending a status hearing scheduled for July 19.

    McCullum’s first court appearance has not yet been scheduled.

    Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for updates to this developing story.