The text messages originated from a Yahoo! screen name "itsjustme24680," and were sent to a married, assistant U.S attorney, Marlene Fernandez-Karavetsos.
She was able to save some of the messages on her phone to show investigators, court records say. The series of messages began with this conversation:
itsjustme24680: sexxxxy mama? :)
Fernandez-Karavetsos: How do i know you?
itsjustme24680: Hi...sorry, I missed you... what's up?
Fernandez-Karavetsos: who is this?
itsjustme24680: you dont remember?
The U.S. Secret Service traced the screen name to Florida House Representative Richard Steinberg (D-Miami Beach). The 39-year-old lawyer, who is married with a daughter, is now under investigation, suspected of stalking Fernandez-Karavetsos, according to a search warrant filed in January in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, which was first obtained by The Miami Herald.
According to the search warrant affidavit, she told investigators that she knows Steinberg "in a professional, non-intimate way," and that the messages caused her "substantial emotional distress."
Steinberg's spokesman Christian Ulvert provided NBC 6 with an email statement from his client.
"I acknowledge and take full responsibility for sending inappropriate and unsolicited messages to Mrs. Marlene Fernandez-Karavetsos, whom I have known for more than 15 years. I deeply regret and wholeheartedly apologize for the disrespect that I have shown her, her husband and my constituents. Most importantly, words cannot express how sorry I am to my wife, for the disrespect I have shown her, and my entire family," the statement said.
Fernandez-Karavetsos couldn't be reached for comment about the series of text messages that were sent between August and October 2011.
Another conversation reads:
itsjustme24680: Good morning!
Fernandez-Karavetsos replies, "Leave me alone."
itsjustme24680: is that a way to treat a friend? lol
itsjustme24680: how's motherhood?
itsjustme24680: getting any sleep?
itsjustme24680: Georgie doing well?
This is the last time I'm going to ask, you've been texting long enough - who is this?
itsjustme24680: considering we're both married parents, probably best I not answer that at this point...
Miami Beach Detectives have now requested access from Yahoo! to email messages from Steinberg's account. The investigation is ongoing.