Calif. man gets 18 years for US ‘re­venge porn’ site

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

A Cal­i­for­nia man who posted thou­sands of sex­u­ally ex­plicit pho­tos of men and women on a “re­venge porn” web­site was jailed for 18 years on Fri­day in what was de­scribed as the first case of its kind in U.S. crim­i­nal his­tory.

San Diego man Kevin Bol­laert, 28, was con­victed in Fe­bru­ary of run­ning a web­site that hosted more than 10,000 ex­plicit pho­to­graphs.

Cal­i­for­nia At­tor­ney Gen­eral Ka­mala Har­ris said it marked the first crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion of a cy­ber-ex­ploita­tion web­site op­er­a­tor in the United States.

Bol­laert’s web­site — ugotposted.com — was launched in De­cem­ber 2012, en­abling pho­to­graphs to be posted with­out the sub­ject’s per­mis­sion.

Bol­laert ran a par­al­lel site that then ex­torted in­di­vid­u­als up to US$350 each to re­move pho­to­graphs from the re­venge porn web­site.

Vic­tims of the scam spoke in court in San Diego on Fri­day as they de­scribed the dam­age done to their rep­u­ta­tions.

“My life has gone through a down-spi­ral,” one of Bol­laert’s vic­tims told Judge David Gill, adding that she had been os­tra- cized by her mother be­cause of the shame she brought on her fam­ily.

An­other vic­tim, Ni­cole, added: “I have a hard time ac­knowl­edg­ing Mr. Bol­laert as a hu­man be­ing. I can’t get away from the dev­as­ta­tion.”

Un­like other re­venge porn web­sites where pho­tos are anony­mous, ugotposted.com re­quired the poster to in­clude the sub­ject’s full name, lo­ca­tion, age and Face­book pro­file link.

Bol­laert cre­ated a sec­ond web­site, changemyrep­u­ta­tion. com, which he used when in­di­vid­u­als con­tacted ugotposted.com ask­ing for their pho­tos to be re­moved from the site, earn­ing thou­sands of dol­lars in the process.

Bol­laert’s par­ents pleaded for le­niency, in­sist­ing their son was re­morse­ful. How­ever judge Gill called Bol­laert’s con­duct “out­ra­geous.”

Cal­i­for­nia at­tor­ney gen­eral Har­ris said Fri­day’s sen­tence “makes clear there will be se­vere con­se­quences for those that profit from the ex­ploita­tion of vic­tims on­line.”

“We will con­tinue to be vig­i­lant and in­ves­ti­gate and pros­e­cute those who com­mit th­ese de­plorable acts,” she said.

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