Suburban Lawmaker Resigns Amid Allegations He Shared Nude Photos of Ex-Girlfriend to ‘Catfish' on Instagram

He was at the center of a Politico report released Wednesday morning, detailing an ex-girlfriend's allegations against the first-term legislator

An Illinois lawmaker resigned Wednesday after a report surfaced alleging that he used an ex-girlfriend's privately shared nude photos to "catfish other men" on Instagram.

Rep. Nick Sauer, a GOP lawmaker representing portions of the northern suburbs, submitted his letter of resignation Wednesday saying "my ability to fulfill my obligations as a State Representative and public servant will be affected by the distraction of addressing these allegations." 

"After speaking with my family, I feel it best to step away from my public responsibilities," he wrote. 

Sauer was at the center of a Politico report released Wednesday morning, detailing an ex-girlfriend's allegations against the first-term legislator.

His ex-girlfriend Kate Kelly told Politico that Sauer created a fake Instagram account on which she said he posted nude photos of her to lure men into "graphic" discussions.

"Nick would use this account to direct message men with my photos to engage in graphic conversations of a sexual nature," Kelly said in a complaint filed with the Office of the Legislative Inspector General and reportedly obtained by Politico.

"The men believed they were communicating with me and Nick shared private details of my life," she said, according to Politico.

NBC Chicago has not independently verified the existence of the complaint. In an emailed statement, acting Legislative Inspector General Julie Porter declined to comment on whether or not Kelly had filed a complaint with her office.

"I do not comment on issues relating to investigations, including whether or not a matter has been presented to me or is open," she said. "Certainly, I am not at liberty to share copies of complaints - if they exist - because the law requires me to maintain them as confidential," Porter continued.

According to Politico, Kelly reportedly said in her complaint that she filed a report on the incident with the Chicago Police Department. Chicago police confirmed that an "obscenity report was generated by a 38 year old victim on July 12" in which the victim claimed that a social media account "was created using her identity and photos."

The CPD investigation into the incident remained ongoing, officials said.

Sauer did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Kelly told Politico that the couple began dating long-distance in 2016, and that she had moved from California to Chicago in June 2017 before breaking up in March 2018.

According to Politico, Kelly said a man she did not know reached out to her on July 12 to tell her that "he had been communicating for 4 months with someone pretending" to be her.

Politico reported that Kelly said Sauer "confessed to catfishing... at least 8 men" with her photos over the course of two years.

A member of the Illinois House Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Task Force, Sauer was a co-sponsor of a bill in 2017 mandating sexual harassment training for General Assembly members.

"No person should ever have to endure the degradation and trauma caused by sexual harassment or abuse," Sauer said in a statement at the time.

Sauer was listed as running for re-election in Illinois' 51st District against Democrat Mary Edly-Allen and Independent candidate Jay Murphy, according to the State Board of Elections, but his campaign site appeared to have been taken down Wednesday afternoon.

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