Lawmaker Under Heavy Fire After Stomach-Churning Nude Photo Scandal Breaks


In what was easily the most stomach-churning, dispiriting political story of the week, an Illinois state representative has resigned after his ex-girlfriend alleged he used naked photos of her to lure men into explicit, sexually charged online discussions.

According to Politico, first-term Illinois state Rep. Nick Sauer was drummed out after Kate Kelly, his former girlfriend, filed a complaint with the Illinois’ Office of the Legislative Inspector General.

Kelly’s complaint stated Sauer used the pictures on an Instagram 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 complaint also claims Kelly has filed a complaint with the Chicago Police Department over Sauer’s use of the photos and that law enforcement is conducting “an active investigation” into the allegations. Chicago Police have not yet responded to a Freedom of Information Act request in the matter.

Kelly told Politico that the two started a long-distance relationship on dating app Tinder and that she moved to Chicago in 2017 to be with him. However, the two broke up earlier this year, apparently because Sauer was seeing other women.

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“The man that I loved and honored for over two years, unfortunately, did not exist. Until I moved to Chicago to be closer to him, he and I would share very private photos with each other, as many couples do,” Kelly said.

Kelly claims a man reached out to her saying that “he had been communicating for 4 months with someone pretending” to be her. Upon discovery of the Instagram account, she says her employer helped discover how long the account was in operation based on when the messages were sent — and it corresponded to right after they began dating. She contacted Instagram about the allegations and the account has since been taken down.

Kelly’s complaint states that Sauer “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.”

State GOP officials quickly began demanding that Sauer step down.

Do you think this former representative should be charged with a crime?

“He should resign,” Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, said.

State House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, meanwhile, said that the allegations were “troubling.”

“He will be resigning from office today. We should allow the proper authorities to conduct their investigations,” Durkin said.

And indeed, just hours after the story became public Wednesday, Sauer stepped down from his position.

“As a result of the allegations by Kate Kelly, a former girlfriend, I have decided to resign,” Sauer said in a letter to the clerk of the Illinois House of Representatives.

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“It is important that the citizens of the 51st District be fully represented. My ability to fulfill 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.”

There were plenty of predictable reactions from liberal Twitterdom:

Interesting question, Mr. Science Based (((Timothy Thelen))). The reason is that it doesn’t, it just feels like it does — because only one party demands accountability from its members, and only one party gets held accountable by the media.

Let’s look at the case of Barney Frank. Frank retired from the House of Representatives in 2013 to plaudits from the media and the left, hailed as a champion of LGBT rights and unapologetically liberal values. What went unmentioned, most of the time, was a 1989 scandal in which it was revealed his boyfriend ran a prostitution ring out of his home. Frank had hired his boyfriend, Stephen Gobie, as an aide and helped “fix” 33 separate parking tickets for him, in addition to writing letters on congressional stationery to probation officials in Virginia. Frank maintained that he didn’t know about the prostitution ring — which, aside from the fact that Gobie says he did, seems impossible.

Or take Sen. Edward Kennedy, another Massachusetts resident. Leaving out the fact that he killed a woman at Chappaquiddick and used his incredible privilege to escape from it legally unscathed, Teddy had a history of mistreatment of women. In one of the most infamous incidents, he allegedly formed a “waitress sandwich” together with Connecticut Democrat Chris Dodd in which they sexually accosted a female server at La Brasserie in Washington. There are other allegations too long to list here — including his role in a 1991 allegation of rape against his nephew, William Kennedy Smith — yet the left only seems to have discovered this was a Really, Really Bad Thing in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Perhaps the best illustration of this principle were Reps. Dan Crane of Illinois and Gerry Studds of Massachusetts. Crane was a Republican, Studds a Democrat. In 1983, both were censured on the same day by the House for having sex with minor congressional pages — Crane a 17-year-old female, Studds a 17-year-old male. Both admitted the conduct. Crane issued an apology; Studds turned his back on the House in an act of defiance as they voted to censure him. Crane was voted out in the next election. Studds retired from the House in 1997; a New York Times obituary in 2006 lionized him as a champion of gay rights and only briefly mentioned his censuring in the fifth paragraph of a long piece.

You may have noticed something about these three individuals: They all come from the same place. I was able to illustrate this point using just Democrats from Massachusetts. There are still 49 other states of hypocrisy to choose from. I didn’t even get to Anthony Weiner’s numerous, numerous improprieties and how he was still able to plausibly run for mayor of New York after the first raft of allegations came to light. Yet, Sauer was drummed out by the GOP and to Twitter posters, the Republicans are still the only party this ever happens to. The old dictum about double standards being the only standards the left has wins the internet yet again.

As for possible criminal charges for Sauer, Deborah Tuerkheimer, a law professor at Northwestern University, noted that Illinois has strong revenge porn laws and  “a crime of false impersonation, or pretending to be someone you’re not.” That gives prosecutors a lot of opportunities to possibly charge the former representative if the allegations are true. And, given Sauer’s weaksauce resignation announcement and lack of other denials, I would pretty much bet on almost every instance of perversion and duplicity in the complaint being totally accurate.

If he does end up spending some time behind bars for this, it couldn’t have happened to a better guy. Were all politicians who do this — on both sides of the aisle — held to the same standards.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture