REUTERS, July 14: Two former staff employees of a member of the U.S. House of Representatives have been indicted after an investigation into the circulation of private, nude images and videos of the member and the member’s spouse, U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips said on Thursday.
Juan McCullum, 35, of Washington, D.C., was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of cyberstalking, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said in a statement.
Another former House staffer, Dorene Browne-Louis, 45, from Maryland, was indicted on two counts of obstruction of justice for lying to investigators and the grand jury about her knowledge of McCullum’s activities, prosecutors said in the statement.
A representative for the U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia could not immediately be reached by Reuters to ascertain whether Browne-Louis or McCullum had legal representation who could comment on their behalf.
Browne-Louis was also accused of deleting pertinent text messages she received from McCullum, a former reality TV star, prosecutors said.
Browne-Louis pleaded not guilty to the charges on Thursday and was released on personal recognizance pending a July 19 hearing, prosecutors said in the statement. McCullum’s first court appearance has not been scheduled.
Prosecutors did not name the lawmaker in their statement.
The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury on Tuesday and unsealed on Thursday.
The charge of cyberstalking carries a maximum of five years in prison and potential financial penalties, federal officials said. The charge of obstruction of justice carries a maximum of 20 years of incarceration and potential financial penalties.
(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Ben Klayman)