Former Rep. Katie Hill's father pushes for prosecution of 'evil' estranged husband

Katie Hill resigned as congresswoman earlier this week.

ByMark Osborne, Lisa Sivertsen, and Alyssa Acquavella
October 29, 2019, 11:11 PM

The father of former Rep. Katie Hill, who stepped down this week after nude photos of her were leaked amid allegations of inappropriate sexual relations with a congressional staffer, attacked his daughter's estranged husband as "wicked" and "evil" on Tuesday.

"I have remained silent and watched as Katie and our entire family has had to endure the spectacle created when her estranged husband, sent 'revenge porn' to RedState and/or some other British tabloid," Michael Hill said in a statement given exclusively to ABC News. "The fact that Kenny Heslep would do such a thing is unfathomable and appalling, especially considering that they were together since Katie was in high school and this is a woman that he purportedly loved and cared about."

Heslep, the husband of the Democratic congresswoman from California, filed for divorce from Hill in July.

ABC News has reached out to Heslep, but have not received a response.

Hill was less than a year into her first term in Congress representing the 25th District, in Southern California, when she resigned Sunday.

PHOTO: In this Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, Katie Hill speaks during an interview after voting in Agua Dulce, Calif.
In this Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, Katie Hill speaks during an interview after voting in Agua Dulce, Calif. Hill announced her resignation over the weekend following the publication of explicit photos that outed the relationship.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP, File

Like the former representative, who blamed her husband for leaking the private photos in her resignation letter, Michael Hill cited a California law -- known informally as outlawing "revenge porn" -- and said they would be pushing for prosecution. California passed the law in 2013; Washington, D.C., has a similar law.

"This action is clearly a violation of 647(j)(4) of the California Penal Code because he had images of the intimate body parts of Katie, that he intentionally distributed to cause serious emotional distress," Michael Hill said in the statement. "There is no doubt that Katie has suffered serious emotional distress as a result of these images being posted."

"For committing this crime, Kenny deserves to be punished to the maximum extent allowable by law," he added. "As a father, I wish worse for him."

Hill's resignation came less than a week after the House Ethics Committee announced it would investigate her for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a congressional staffer in violation of House rules. While Hill has denied that allegation, she did acknowledge having a sexual relationship with a campaign staffer when she was running for Congress in 2018.

"Let's not pretend that her resigning is anything other than the direct result of the actions of a wicked man whose sole purpose in life, after he was dumped, was to hurt my little girl," her father said. "Evil has many faces and this is one of them."

Hill is the second openly bisexual congresswoman to ever be elected.

On Tuesday, former Donald Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos filed official paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for Hill's vacated seat. Papadopoulos spent 14 days in prison for making false statements to the FBI.

ABC News' Kendall Karson contributed to this report.