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Ex-Plaskett Staffer Juan ‘Pretty’ McCullum Says He’s Innocent of Cyberstalking V.I. Delegate … Judge Orders Him To Stay Off of Facebook

Juan McCullum and Stacey Plaskett

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WASHINGTON — A former staff member of Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett pleaded not guilty Tuesday in the distribution of nude images and a blue video of the representative and her husband.

Juan “Pretty” McCullum, 35, of Washington, was indicted by a federal grand jury in the capital on two counts of cyberstalking Plaskett (D-VI), for whom he worked as a legislative counsel from April 2015 until June 2016.

The July 11 indictment was unsealed on Thursday (see story below).

McCullum entered a plea but not did not speak at a brief arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Deborah Robinson of Washington, where he was represented by his court-appointed attorney, Stuart Sears.

McCullum was released on personal recognizance but on several conditions, including that he stay away from the delegate’s family and staff online and in person and not travel internationally.

He was also told not to access Facebook or any applications that automatically delete communications, not to use ­anonymizing software, and to not delete electronic files dated after Jan. 1, 2016.

Federal prosecutors and the U.S. Capitol Police announced charges last week against ­McCullum and a co-worker, Dorene Browne-Louis, 45, of ­Upper Marlboro, Md., who was Plaskett’s scheduler from ­January 2015 until April 2016 and who has pleaded not guilty to obstructing justice.

Browne-Louis also has been released on her own recognizance. Both defendants are due back in court today.
Federal charging documents did not name Plaskett, but stated that both defendants worked for the same non-voting House delegate, identified by the initials S.P.

Plaskett last week confirmed that she is “S.P.,” issuing statements thanking investigators and condemning perpetrators of “an organized smear campaign and defamatory press reports concerning both me and my family.”

According to the indictment, McCullum offered in March 2016 to help take the delegate’s malfunctioning, password-protected iPhone to a local Apple store to be repaired.

McCullum was not given permission to take, copy or distribute any of the contents of the iPhone, which contained the private nude images and videos, authorities alleged.

In July 2016, after McCullum left the delegate’s staff, he allegedly created a Hotmail account and a Facebook account under a fake name to post the material and encouraged sharing it, the indictment states. The indictment also alleged that McCullum texted Browne-Louis as early as July 2, 2016, and emailed her some of the material.

Some of the personal photographs surfaced on the Internet shortly before a Democratic primary. Plaskett, 51, a lawyer and former New York City prosecutor and Justice Department official, went on to win with 85 percent of the vote, then won re-election in November to a second House term.
Plaskett last summer criticized the public unauthorized distribution of private photographs she had shared with her husband, Jonathan Buckney-Small, and the posting of a “playful video of our family,” that included one of their children.

“To say my family and I are greatly upset would be a tremendous understatement,” she said at that time, adding that the dissemination of the images was “a shockingly disgusting invasion of my family’s and my privacy — not to mention criminal acts . . . ”

Federal investigators launched an investigation within days and alleged that Browne-Louis deleted McCullum’s texts from her phone and gave false and misleading statements to them and the grand jury.

McCullum faces charges that carry a maximum of five years in prison. Browne-Louis faces charges that carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and has been released on personal recognizance.

McCullum is a former reality TV star who was known as “Pretty” and appeared on VH1’s “I Love New York,” according to a 2015 profile in The Hill newspaper.

https://vifreepress.com/2017/07/two-plaskett-staffers-indicted-federal-government-allegedly-leaking-nude-photos-husband/

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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