CAMBRIDGE, Md. (AP) — A Maryland mayor has been arrested and charged with distributing revenge porn online, prosecutors announced Monday.
Andrew Bradshaw, the 32-year-old mayor of Cambridge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, is accused of posting nude photos of a woman he was no longer in a romantic relationship with.
Bradshaw posted the photos using multiple Reddit accounts he created using variations of the woman’s name and birthdate, according to a news release from the Office of the State Prosecutor. According to authorities, the captions were filled with sexually explicit language as well as racial insults and slurs. The photos were uploaded in April/May.
Bradshaw, who was accused of 50 counts in distributing revenge porn, was taken into custody Monday. According to online court records, he was freed on his recognizance. Bradshaw could not be reached for comment and online court documents don’t list an attorney.
After seeing the Reddit photos, she contacted authorities. She told authorities that she had sent the photos only to Bradshaw while they were in an intimate relationship and she didn’t give him permission to redistribute them, the document states. She stated that they had ended their relationship.
According to Bradshaw’s document, one IP address was used to link the accounts posting the photos to an account that offered internet access to Bradshaw’s Cambridge house.
The charging document alleges that Bradshaw disseminated the images without the woman’s knowledge or consent and with the intent to harm her. Maryland law bans nonconsensual sharing of images that show an individual’s intimate parts, or depicts them in sexual activities, and it is prohibited from threatening, coercing, intimidating, harassing, intimidating, threatening, or coercing the subject.
If convicted, Bradshaw could face a maximum penalty of two years’ incarceration and a $5,000 fine for each count.
A biography on the website of the city of about 13,000 notes that Bradshaw, who grew up in the Cambridge area, was the youngest mayor in the city’s history when he took office in January.
City officials declined to comment on the charges, but a statement on the city’s website said they’re “aware of the matter involving the Mayor” and would cooperate with authorities. The statement notes that the city’s business isn’t affected since the city manager serves as the city’s chief executive and administrative branch head.
“It’s appalling behavior for anyone, especially someone vested with public responsibility,” State Prosecutor Charlton Howard III said by telephone. Even if the acts don’t fall within official duties it contributes to the public’s lack of faith in our leaders and institutions, he said.
“People in romantic relationships exchange private confidences, messages and private images and they do it under an assumption, sometimes stated or understood, that they will be retained privately,” Howard said. “Distribution can be exceptionally devastating. … The pervasive depth and breath of the internet makes these cases exceptionally egregious.”