Adam Savader, a Great Neck native and former Mitt Romney intern, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison last Wednesday for extorting several females for nude pictures, according to the Associated Press.
Savader pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Detroit in November to threatening to release nude photographs of women in Michigan, Washington, D.C., and Long Island unless they sent him additional nude photographs of themselves.
The Associated Press reported U.S. District Judge Marianne Battani said Savader suffers from mental illness and depression, but that they were no excuse for his actions.
“There’s nothing in the reports from psychologists that you don’t know right from wrong,” the judge said. “You can’t use mental illness as an excuse as long as you know right from wrong.”
The sentence matches the recommendation made by federal prosecutors on Tuesday.
Savader, who was attending George Washington University at the time of the arrest, reportedly apologized in court after the sentence and quoted President Bill Clinton, who in 1998 after apologizing for an affair with White House Intern Monica Lewinsky said “I’m trying to make it right.”
Savader’s defense attorney Michael Soshnick had filed letters from Newt Gingrich’s former campaign manager, Michael Krull, and Rep. Paul Ryan on Savader’s behalf.
Another letter was filed by Bernard Kaplan principal of Great Neck North High School where Savader was a student.
Kaplan, in an interview with Great Neck News, said Savader requested the principal write to the judge about his life in high school.
In the letter dated Jan. 10, 2014 to Battani, Kaplan said that the pressure of serving as an intern for Romney and Paul Ryan helped contribute to Savader’s actions.
“My belief is that the intense pressure of his extraordinary political commitments and success at so early an age together with the pressure of highly competitive college conspired to drive him over the edge,” Kaplan said in the letter.
Kaplan said he knew Savader while he was a student at the high school.
“Adam was well spoken and had a particular passion for social studies,” he said. “His high school record is absolutely clean. He was never involved in any significant disciplinary action, and he earned a very commendable high school academic record that included devoting his free time to working with special needs children and volunteering for community service projects in soup kitchens and animal shelters.”
The FBI alleges that over the course of 10 months beginning in May 2012, Savader sent anonymous text messages to 15 women, threatening to release nude pictures of the women unless they sent him additional naked photographs.
The investigation began when the first victim, a college student in Michigan and Great Neck native, told local police that she had received text messages starting on September 30, 2012 demanding nude pictures and threatening to send naked photographs he had of her to her friends and family.
Savader allegedly identified himself as ‘John Smith’ in the text messages to the Great Neck native, which the victim turned over to local police.
“I swear on all that is holy. If you [expletive] with me again I will send these to your parents. I have no problem sending them to ur [sic] parents, friends and sorority sisters unless you cooperate by answering me,” Savader texted to one victim.
A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Michigan said Savader sent the victim a link to nude photographs of herself on an image-sharing Web site. The victim told police that those images had been stored in her personal e-mail account.
Savader was charged with internet extortion and cyber stalking after the FBI took him into custody at his family’s Hutchison Court home in Great Neck Gardens last year.
Shosnick told the New York Daily News last year “I’ve known Adam his entire life and he has never behaved in a way that would lead me to believe these allegations are true.”
Savader’s internet presence shows a man fast on the rise in conservative circles.
His Twitter account, which has more than 17,000 followers, identifies him as formerly Paul Ryan’s sole intern for the 2012 presidential campaign and a former Newt Gingrich campaign staffer. Savader’s Facebook page contains pictures of the young man, clean cut and wearing glasses, posing with Ryan, Romney and Gingrich.
The messages, which included invasive personal questions, continued through November. The detective obtained the phone number linked to an anonymous Google Voice account used to send the messages via court order, and traced the number to a cell phone registered at Savader’s family home in Great Neck, according to the criminal complaint.
The criminal complaint said that further investigation identified 14 other potential victims, including George Washington University students and former high school classmates of Savader’s.