A Delaware County man made threatening and lewd phone calls to U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean (D., Pa.) after she spoke out against the January attack at the U.S. Capitol, authorities said Monday.
Stephen Cilurso, 68, has been charged with two counts of harassment for making 19 calls to Dean’s office in February, according to court records. He was released on $25,000 unsecured bail. There was no indication he had hired an attorney.
Cilurso, of Aldan, admitted to detectives he made the calls, saying that when he “gets into drinking he has a dirty mouth.” He told them he grew angry as he watched new reports about the impeachment of former President Donald Trump, who he had supported in the 2020 election, according to the affidavit of probable cause for his arrest.
At the time the calls were made, Dean was serving as one of the House’s nine impeachment managers, effectively prosecutors pressing the case in a Senate trial that Trump tried to overturn the election by inciting an insurrection against Congress. The House impeached Trump after the deadly Capitol attack, making him the only president ever impeached twice. But he was again acquitted by the Senate.
The bulk of Cilurso’s calls to Dean’s office took place during the impeachment trial, the affidavit said. In voicemail messages left at her Norristown office, Cilurso used vulgar language to refer to Dean, and at one point mentioned her granddaughter by name.
He also mocked Dean, of Montgomery County, for her firsthand account of the attack, during which she was inside the Capitol and had to be escorted to safety by security officers. Cilurso called her a liar and accused her of exaggerating the details.
As police began to investigate the calls — which they traced back to Cilurso’s home — he left additional messages apologizing for his behavior and begging Dean to tell detectives to “stop pursuing [him],” the affidavit said.