A man who once worked as an intern for Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich’s failed presidential campaigns was sentenced to 30 months in prison on Wednesday for cyberstalking a university student after illicitly obtaining nude photos of her.
Republican activist Adam Savader, 22, was arrested last year after detectives learned he had used Google Voice phone numbers to solicit nude photos from more than a dozen women. According to court documents, Savader obtained nude photographs of the women and then threatened to send the images to the victim’s family and friends if they didn’t send him more compromising pictures.
A criminal complaint filed last April says Savader used Google’s Internet telephone service “Google Voice” in some cases as an attempt to hide his identity. Detectives traced some of the text messages sent through Google Voice to Savader’s New York home.
As part of a plea deal reached last November, Savader agreed to plead guilty to one count of cyberstalking and one count of Internet extortion stemming from a case involving an unidentified Michigan university student. Both counts carried a combined possible sentenced of four years in prison.
Federal prosecutors had recommended Savader serve a sentence of 30 months. The man’s attorneys suggested leniency, bringing in a psychologist who claimed Savader suffered a mental breakdown after working on Gingrich and Romney’s failed presidential campaigns.
Savader also submitted to the court several character letters from family and friends as part of his crusade for leniency. Employment recommendations authored by Gingrich, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and National Review journalist Robert Costa were among the submitted letters.
Though Savader reportedly obtained nude images by hacking into password-protected email accounts belonging to the victims, he was not charged under the controversial Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a broad law that federal prosecutors generally reserve for use against individuals suspected of committing computer crimes against corporations.