CHICAGO (CBS)– The resignation Wednesday of young and upcoming Illinois State Rep. Nick Sauer serves as a reminder of the seriousness of revenge porn allegations.
The freshman lawmaker—a member of the House Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Task Force–didn’t get through his first term in the legislature before revenge porn allegations came to light Wednesday, ending his career prematurely.
A Politico story published Wednesday morning alleges Sauer used a fake Instagram account to send private photos of his ex-girlfriend, Katy Kelly, to other men.
Sauer, according to the allegations, lured the men into thinking they were chatting with Kelly, and coerced them into “engaging in graphic conversations of a sexual nature.”
Sauer resigned Wednesday afternoon, a few hours after the accusations were made public. By then, Republican lawmakers—including Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner—had begun calling for him to step down.
“As a result of the allegations by Kate Kelly, a former girlfriend,” Sauer wrote to the House Clerk. “I have decided to resign my office. It is important that the citizens of the 51st District be fully represented.”
Kelly also reportedly filed a report against Sauer with Chicago police.
Sauer’s district office in suburban Libertyville was empty when CBS 2’s Jim Williams stopped by on Wednesday.
Daliah Saper, a Chicago attorney who has represented victims of revenge porn, described the allegations as “incredibly traumatic.”
Illinois is one of many states that have begun cracking down on revenge porn in recent years by adopting statutes that make it a crime to disseminate certain images without consent.
In Illinois, revenge porn is a Class 4 felony, according to Saper.
Democratic State Senator Melinda Bush said Sauer should go to jail if the allegations are proven to be true.
“It is time that predators are held accountable,” Bush said.
Sauer did not return calls Wednesday.
Jessica Williams, a woman who identified herself as another ex-girlfriend of the ex-lawmaker, spoke to CBS on the phone.
“If a crime was committed, justice will take care of that, but that was not my experience with Nick,” Williams said.