Feds arrest Paul Ryan's former intern in nude picture blackmail scandal
The 21-year-old has been charged with cyberstalking and blackmailing 15 women
An intern who worked for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan during their 2012 campaign has been arrested by the FBI on allegations that he illegally obtained naked pictures of 15 different women and then blackmailed them for more, according to the New York Daily News. (It does not appear that either Ryan or Romney have publicly commented on the situation.)
Adam Savader, 21, is a political science student at SUNY Farmingdale who has also interned in the past for Newt Gingrich. If convicted, he could face five years in jail.
According to an FBI report, Savader reportedly sent texts from a Google Voice number to 15 women threatening to send nude pictures of them to their friends and family unless they sent him more nude photos of themselves. To prove he wasn't lying, he would allegedly send them links to nude photos of themselves he had uploaded to Photobucket.
The Daily News has more details from the case:
In one instance, the criminal complaint said, Savader threatened to send naked pictures of one of his victims to the Republican National Committee if she didn't comply with his demands. She sometimes got as many as eight threatening texts a day, the document said.
Other texts to women are increasingly threatening and explicit, the complaint said, including one sent in October that said, "Do it from ur phone RIGHT NOW! I swear to God don't be stupid. U don't want every1 including your parents seeing your t--s (and) ass." [Daily News]
The case was brought to the FBI's attention when a woman from Ann Arbor, Mich., told authorities that she had received threatening texts from a "John Smith" after her AOL account had been hacked and pictures of herself stolen. The FBI then traced the phone numbers and IP addresses back to Savader's home in Great Neck, Long Island, according to Politico.
Savader describes himself as "Formerly @PRyan's sole intern on @MittRomney's campaign and a @newtgingrich campaign staffer" on his Twitter account, which has more than 17,000 followers. He faces federal trial in Michigan, where he was accused.