Juan McCullum and Dorene Browne-Louis, two former staff employees of a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, are accused of circulating private, nude images and videos of the House member and her spouse.
Although the U.S Justice Department press release announcing the indictment doesn’t name the House member, previous news reports said the Virgin Islands’ delegate to Congress, Democratic Rep. Stacey Plaskett, McCullum’s former boss, was the victim of a nude photo and video being circulated on social media.
McCullum was previously known for his stint at reality TV stardom. According to The Hill, he starred as “Pretty” on VH1’s I Love New York. He was also named as one of the Hill’s 50 most beautiful people.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. McCullum Is Accused of Cyberstalking & Browne-Louis of Obstruction of Justice
The Justice press release says that McCullum, 35, of Washington, D.C., was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of cyberstalking, and a co-worker, Dorene Browne-Louis, 45, of Upper Marlboro, Md., was indicted on two counts of obstruction of justice. The indictment, which was unsealed on July 13, was returned on July 11, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
According to the indictment, McCullum worked from April 2015 until June 2016 “in the House member’s legislative office in Washington, D.C.” Browne-Louis “worked in the same office from January 2015 until April 2016,” the release says.
2. The Indictment Accuses McCullum of Stealing Nude Photos & Images From the iPhone of the House Member
In March 2016, the indictment says, McCullum offered help repair the House member’s “malfunctioning, password-protected cellular iPhone by taking the device to a local Apple store.” According to the indictment, the House member “provided McCullum with the device solely to have the iPhone repaired.”
The iPhone contained the private, nude images and videos, according to the release.
After McCullum left the House member’s staff, the indictment says that he created a Hotmail account and Facebook page using a fake name in order to post the private images and videos. He is also accused of encouraging others on social media “to redistribute the images and videos in the member’s congressional district.” The indictment alleges that McCullum also sent text messages and emails to Browne-Louis “alerting her to his activities as early as July 2, 2016, as well as e-mail messages containing several of the images and videos.”
3. The Video & Photos Included a Naked Selfie & Plaskett’s Husband Wearing Makeup
The videotape of Plaskett “showed her husband naked and wearing makeup,” Politico reported previously.
The video was posted online but then removed, the lawmaker acknowledged in a statement, Politico reported. Plaskett’s aides disputed to Politico that it was a sex tape, though.
The political site reported that a topless “selfie” of Plaskett also was being disseminated. Politico reported that the video shows a naked Jonathan Buckney-Small (Plaskett’s husband), “wearing makeup as Plaskett films it…Plaskett is heard speaking to her husband in the recording. One of the couple’s children makes an appearance in the video as well,” Politico reported.
4. McCullum Had a Stint on Reality TV & Is From Mississippi
A feature story on McCullum in the Hill reported that he was general counsel for Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) and “a former reality TV star.”
“McCullum’s not embarrassed about his television past, admitting that he auditioned for VH1 when he was a broke law student,” The Hill reported.
The 2015 story reported that he was a 32-year-old Democrat from Pearl, Mississippi.
5. The Indictment Accuses Browne-Louis of Giving Misleading Statements & Deleting Texts
The charges against Browne-Louis “involve text messages from McCullum that she allegedly deleted from her cellular phone, as well as false, incomplete, and misleading statements that she allegedly made to law enforcement and a federal grand jury regarding her knowledge of the activities,” the press release says.
She was a scheduler and administrative director for Plaskett.