(CN) – Two former congressional aides pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges they circulated nude images and video of an elected representative to Congress and her husband.
Last year, Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett confirmed she was the representative identified as “S.P.” in court documents.
The Washington Post has reported the aides circulated the material in order to harm the Democrat’s bid for reelection.
Plaskett called the effort both an invasion of her privacy and an organized smear campaign.
On Tuesday, Juan McCullum, 36, of Washington, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and cyberstalking crimes and co-worker Dorene Browne-Louis, 45, of Upper Marlboro, Md., pleaded guilty to conspiracy and being an accessory after the fact, all misdemeanors.
Two former staff members of the U.S. House of Representatives pled guilty to circulating sexual images and videos of a House member and the member’s spouse in U.S. District Court on Tuesday.
According to U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Chief of U.S. Capitol Police Matthew Verderosa, Juan R. McCullum, 36, and Browne-Louis stole the images and videos from the House member’s iPhone that McCullum gained access to under the guise of having the device repaired at the Apple Store in March 2016. The House member provided him with the password for the sole purpose of having the malfunctioning phone fixed by Apple employees.
According to prosecutors, McCullum gained access to the images and videos on the House member’s iPhone by taking it to an Apple Store in March 2016 under the guise of having the phone repaired.
McCullum then shared the material with Browne-Louis, and after he left the House member’s staff in July, 2016, he created a Hotmail account and a Facebook page using a fictitious name to post and distribute the images and videos.
The government says McCullum also encouraged others to share the images, and that he ultimately share one image with a person working on the campaign of one of his former boss’s opponents.
The plea document states the duo understood their actions caused emotional harm to the couple and the House member’s re-election bid.
McCullum’s sentencing is scheduled for March 8, 2018, and Browne-Louis’s sentencing is set for April 23.
Under a plea deal with prosecutors, McCullum faces one year and 361 days in federal prison, all suspended except for one year and one day. Browne-Louis faces up to six months on each count.