- Kate Kelly, a former girlfriend of Illinois State Rep. Nick Sauer has accused him of using nude photos of her to “catfish” men online through an Instagram account.
- Sauer has now announced his resignation from the Illinois House of Representatives, and described dealing with the allegations as a “distraction,” Politico reports.
- Kelly also said that Sauer sharing personal details about her life on the Instagram account.
- Sauer had been tasked with finding ways to prevent sexual harassment.
- “After speaking with my family, I feel it best to step away from my public responsibilities,” Sauer said.
An Illinois lawmaker tasked with finding ways to prevent sexual harassment has resigned after a former girlfriend accused him of using her nude photos to catfish other men and lure them into “graphic” discussions.
Illinois state Rep. Nick Sauer’s former girlfriend Kate Kelly filed an official complaint which accused Sauer of creating a fake Instagram account filled with nude photos of her.
Sauer, a first-term Republican, described addressing the allegations as a “distraction” when he announced that he was resigning in a letter to the Clerk of the House of Representatives, Politico reports.
“As a result of the allegations by Kate Kelly, a former girlfriend, I have decided to resign,” he wrote on Wednesday. Sauer had been a state representative since December 2016.
“It is important that the citizens of the 51st District be fully represented. My ability to fulfil my obligations as a State Representative and public servant will be affected by the distraction of addressing these allegations. After speaking with my family, I feel it best to step away from my public responsibilities.”
He has not withdrawn his re-election candidacy.
Sauer was a member of the House Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Task Force formed after women who work in and around government in the state signed an open letter that described sexual harassment both at the capitol and in political campaigns.
Sauer announced his resignation hours after Politico reported on Kelly’s complaint, which she filed with the Office of the Legislative Inspector General.
She accused Sauer of sharing personal details about her life on the Instagram account. She said that he would use the account “to catfish other men using my privately shared naked photos. Nick would use this account to direct message men with my photos to engage in graphic conversations of a sexual nature.”
“The men believed they were communicating with me and Nick shared private details of my life.”
The term “catfishing” refers to instances when a person lures someone into a relationship by pretending to be someone else in an online platform.
She said in the complaint that there is an “active investigation” into her claims after she filed a police report with the Chicago Police Department.
Kelly said in her complaint that a man she did not know reached out to her via Instagram on July 12 to inform her that she had been communicating with someone for four months who was “pretending” to he Kelly.
She said that Sauer admitted to the practice: “He came to my house & confessed to catfishing men with my photos for 2 years to at least 8 men. He was unable to provide the names and begged that I let it go.”
Kelly said that Instagram took down the account after she contacted the company.
Politico has sought to obtain the police report through a Freedom of Information Act request, but the police are yet to comply.
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