Revenge pornography legislation changes on a week-by-week basis. We will be tracking these updates, as well as notable progress made in revenge pornography cases, and sharing them weekly in this space. We'll be starting off with a few highlights from past weeks.
17 July 2017
On July 13, Juan R. McCullum of Washington, D.C. was indicted for cyberstalking Delegate Stacey Plaskett, a former employee of US Virgin Islands. Plaskett serves as a non-voting member in the US House of Representatives. In March 2016, Juan McCullum, a former reality television star turned politician, offered to take Plaskett’s iPhone to the Apple store. He found nude images and family videos on Plaskett’s phone. After leaving Plaskett’s office, McCullum spread them via fake email and Facebook accounts in July 2016 to harass Plaskett. Dorene Browne-Louis, another of Plaskett’s staffers, allegedly aided McCullum, and was indicted on two counts of obstruction of justice.
As Plaskett told The Daily Beast, it took Facebook three hours to remove this content. During this period, the images were widely downloaded. Politico reported that a “sex tape” of. Plaskett had been released and alleged that the supposed scandal would be career-ending. The attack on Plaskett’s reputation constituted political sabotage, and she described herself as the victim of “cyber sexual assault.”
Nonetheless, US Virgin Islands voters understood that Plaskett was the victim of a crime rather than having done anything wrong. She overcame the “scandal” and trounced the opposition in the 2016 election, taking 85% of the vote. And, now, the perpetrators are being brought to justice. Plaskett has worked with Congresswoman Jackie Speier to try to pass federal legislation criminalizing revenge porn and other forms of cyber sexual assault. In the meantime, Washington DC has passed a revenge porn law, meaning that McCullum would be guilty of another criminal offense had he acted in this way after the law’s passage.