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Cambridge mayor arrested, charged with 50 counts of distributing ‘revenge porn’

Andrew Bradshaw, the mayor of Cambridge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, has been charged with 50 counts of distributing explicit images of a former romantic partner without her consent on the social media site Reddit, the state prosecutor’s office said Monday.

Bradshaw faces up to a $5,000 fine and two years in prison for each count, for a maximum total of $250,000 and 100 years in prison.

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Prosecutors say Bradshaw, 32, used a variety of usernames featuring the victim’s name and birth date to post nude images with racist and sexually explicit captions on a number of Reddit forums. He did so 50 times between April and May, charging documents stated.

On May 14, the victim, who prosecutors say was previously in a romantic relationship with Bradshaw, contacted law enforcement about the images and said they were posted without her consent, according to charging documents. She told law enforcement that Bradshaw was the only person to whom she’d ever sent the photographs.

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Investigators determined that the Reddit posts were sent from an IP address that provided internet service to Bradshaw’s home, according to charging documents.

Bradshaw and his attorney could not be reached for comment.

The state prosecutor’s office said the mayor’s alleged conduct violated Maryland’s Revenge Porn Statute, which prohibits “the nonconsensual distribution of a private visual representation of another which exposes their intimate body parts or displays them engaged in sexual activity, with the intent to harm, harass, intimidate, threaten or coerce the person depicted.”

“Using someone’s private images without their consent is a serious breach of trust and invasion of privacy, and the power and breadth of the internet makes such a violation even more egregious,” State Prosecutor Charlton Howard said in a news release. “Our office is committed to protecting victims from those who abuse their positions of power and trust.”

Reddit’s Content Policy states the users should “never post or threaten to post intimate or sexually-explicit media of someone without their consent.” The policy is enforced by administrators, who may suspend or remove accounts, remove the content or ban Reddit pages altogether, according to the Reddit website.

Bradshaw was released Monday of his own recognizance. One of the main conditions of his release is that he have no contact with the victim, Howard said.

Bradshaw, who took office in January, is the youngest ever mayor of Cambridge, according to the city’s website.

David Deutsch, Cambridge’s acting city manager, said the city’s commissioners will be meeting with the city attorney about Bradshaw “shortly” to examine the city charter and code to see “what options exist and if any action needs to be taken.” That’s likely to take place before the commissioners’ next scheduled meeting Dec. 13, he said.

In the meantime, Bradshaw remains the city’s mayor, Deutsch said.

In Cambridge, the city manager functions as the town’s chief executive officer and head of its administrative branch, so city services will be unaffected, according to a statement posted to the city’s website.

“Government operations are still moving forward,” Deutsch said. “The legal issues surrounding the mayor is a personal matter and doesn’t involve city business.”

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