Two Plaskett Staffers Indicted By The Federal Government For Allegedly Leaking Nude Photos Of Her And Her Husband
PHOTO IN QUESTION: One of the photos (censored) of Virgin Islands Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett that was allegedly leaked to the Internet by two of her own staffers in her congressional office in Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two former employees of V.I. Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett have been indicted in connection with the circulation of nude images of Plaskett and her husband, the Virgin Islands Free Press has learned.
One former aide, Juan “Pretty” McCullum, 35, was charged with two counts of cyberstalking, and the other, Dorene Browne-Louis, faces two obstruction of justice charges in a case investigated by the U.S. Capitol Police and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. McCullum is Plaskett’s former legal counsel (see story below).
According to authorities, each aide worked for Plaskett for more than a year before they departed in mid-2016. The images had been circulated widely by late July 2016 and Plaskett confirmed at the time they had been stolen from her.
According to the U.S. attorney’s description of the charges, in March 2016, Plaskett asked McCullum to take her iPhone to an Apple store for repairs. While he had her phone, McCullum allegedly created Hotmail and Facebook accounts under a pseudonym to distribute and post nude images of Plaskett and her spouse. He used these social media accounts to encourage others to spread the images and videos around Plaskett’s congressional district, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in the District of Columbia.
McCullum allegedly alerted Browne-Louis to his actions, who later deleted his text messages from her phone and gave “false, incomplete, and misleading statements” to law enforcement about her knowledge of McCullum’s actions. She is due to appear in federal court on July 19, while McCullum’s first appearance has yet to be scheduled.
The allegations, if proved, would represent a shocking betrayal by the delegate’s own staff, and a turnabout from her initial suggestion that her political enemies had hacked her computer and distributed the files.
“The theft and distribution of these personal images via the internet marks a new low in Virgin Islands politics,” Plaskett said at the time. “I am shocked and deeply saddened that someone would stoop to such a level as to invade my marriage and the love of my family in an attempt to besmirch me politically.”
“Private photographs shared between my husband and me, as well as a private playful video of our family, including one of our children, were illegally obtained and disseminated via the internet. To say my family and I are greatly upset would be a tremendous understatement,” Plaskett added. “As a mother I am outraged that one of my children was exploited in such a way. The theft and dissemination of these images via the internet is a shockingly disgusting invasion of my family’s and my privacy – not to mention criminal acts in violation of both territorial and federal law.”
Plaskett, a lawyer and former congressional staffer, is in her second term as a non-voting delegate in the U.S. Congress for the territory.
WENT TO THE DOGS: Juan “Pretty” McCullum was featured in several Washington, D.C. newspapers as being one of the “Top 50” best-looking staffers in Washington, D.C. Now McCullum, the delegate to congress’ former legal counsel, stands accused of leaking nude photos of his former boss Stacey Plaskett and her husband to the Internet.