Illinois Republican state representative Nick Sauer is expected to resign today. Sauer is accused of using his ex-girlfriend’s nude pictures to catfish men into sexual chat. Though no charges have yet been filed, it’s noted that Illinois has a revenge porn law on the books that makes it a felony to non-consensually distribute private sexual messages.
Nick Sauer’s former girlfriend Kate Kelly filed an official complaint with the Office of the Legislative Inspector General, as well as the Chicago police. According to the complaint, Sauer set up a fake Instagram account using Kelly’s nude photos in order to trick men into chatting.
According to an interview with Politico, Kelly started a long-distance relationship with Nick Sauer in 2016 after they met on Tinder. In June 2017 she moved from California to Chicago to be closer to him, though they broke up last March when Kelly discovered he had been dating other women. At the end of June she asked Sauer to reimburse her for the travel expenses she accrued during her relationship. Sauer sent her $2,000.
Before she moved to Chicago, Kelly said, “He and I would share very private photos with each other, as many couples do.” It’s these photos that Sauer used in his catfishing exploits.
Kelly says she found out Nick Sauer had been posing as her on July 12. A man reached out to her on her (real) Instagram account to let her know that for the past four months he’d been talking with someone pretending to be her. She was then able to determine how long the catfishing had been going on — since shortly after Kelly and Sauer started dating.
Kelly says Sauer confessed. “He came to my house and confessed to catfishing men with my photos for two years to at least eight men,” she says. “He was unable to provide the names and begged that I let it go.” She reached out to Instagram, which took down the fake account.
Though no charges have been filed, the investigation is ongoing. In Illinois, revenge porn is a felony offense, and there are also laws against false impersonation.