2 congressional staffers indicted after member's private images leaked online

J. David Ake  AP

J. David Ake AP

Prosecutors allege McCullum created a Hotmail email account under a fake name and sent at least 11 messages containing the images to politicians, reporters and other people familiar with the delegate. Plaskett also gave McCullum the password to the device that contained nude images and videos of the delegate and her husband.

Last year, a topless photo of Plaskett was published online, along with a video of her husband, Jonathan Buckney-Small, in the nude while wearing make-up, reported Politico at the time.

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

Juan R. McCullum, a former staffer for a delegate to the House of Representatives, distributed photos of the delegate and the delegate's spouse on social media in July 2016, according to the federal indictment.

While McCullum was hit with two counts of cyberstalking, Browne-Louis was hit with two counts of obstruction of justice, with prosecutors claiming that she knew about McCullum's actions and even helped him delete incriminating text messages and lied to investigators.

Plaskett, 51, a lawyer and former New York City prosecutor and U.S. Justice Department official, was overwhelmingly reelected to her second House term a year ago after winning an August Democratic primary with 85 percent of the vote. Stacey Plaskett, who represents the Virgin Islands as a nonvoting member in Congress.

According to the indictment, McCullum offered to fix Plaskett's iPhone in March 2016.

Plaskett, in her second term in the nonvoting position, said in a statement that her privacy had been invaded a year ago and that "an organized smear campaign and defamatory press reports concerning both me and my family" had followed.

When the video initially emerged, Plaskett stated: "The theft and distribution of these personal images via the internet marks a new low in Virgin Islands politics". To say my family and I are greatly upset would be a tremendous understatement, ' Plaskett added. McCullum faces up to five years in prison, while Browne-Louis could face a maximum of 20 years incarceration, which could include travel restrictions and electronic monitoring. Browne-Louis worked in the same office from January 2015 to April 2016. She pleaded not guilty during her initial court appearance on Thursday and was released on her own recognizance, US News & World reports.

Two former employees of a sitting member of the US House of Representatives were indicted today in a cyberstalking case, according to the Department of Justice.

In a statement, Plaskett said she was "deeply grateful to the Capitol Police and US Attorney for the District of Columbia for their thorough and in depth investigating of the crimes committed against me and those who I love".

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