A freshman Illinois lawmaker has resigned amidst a catfishing revenge porn scandal.
Republican State Rep. Nick Sauer‘s ex-girlfriend Kate Kelly has alleged that Sauer set up a fake Instagram account under her name and posted explicit images of her. Kelly claims that this was an attempt to bait other men into conversations with Sauer, according to Politico.
Kelly claims that she and Sauer began a long distance relationship in 2016 after meeting on Tinder. During this relationship, before Kelly moved from California to Chicago to be closer to Sauer, she had consensually shared the private photographs with him. Kelly said the relationship ended in March of 2018, and she was contacted on July 12 by one of several men who claimed to have spoken to someone via Instagram pretending to be Kelly. She alleges that Sauer had set up the account, and used it to send nude images of her to men who thought they were communicating with her.
Kelly said Sauer admitted to doing this for years.
“He came to my house & confessed to catfishing men with my photos for 2 years to at least 8 men,” she wrote in a complaint she filed with the Legislative Inspector General’s Office. “He was unable to provide the names and begged that I let it go.”
Sauer, who was a member of the House Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Task Force, released a statement regarding the situation.
“As a result of the allegations by Kate Kelly, a former girlfriend, I have decided to resign my office,” Sauer said. “It is important that the citizens of the 51st District be fully represented.”He added, “My ability to fulfill my obligations as a state representative and public servant will be affected by the distraction of addressing these allegations.“
Kelly also filed a complaint with the Chicago Police Department. While no charges have been filed as of yet, Illinois state law designates revenge porn, or posting explicit images without the subject’s consent, as a felony that can carry up to a $25,000 fine and three years in prison.
[Image via Illinois General Assembly]