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April 4, 2015

"'Revenge Porn' Defendant Sentenced to 18 Years"

The title of this post is the headline of this local California article reporting on a first-of-its-kind sentencing that was completed yesterday in state court.  Here are the details:

A San Diego man convicted of identity theft and extortion after posting more than 10,000 sexually explicit photos of women to his so-called "revenge porn" website was sentenced on Friday to 18 years behind bars.

The sentencing of Kevin Bollaert ended an all-day hearing where a number of victims told of the humiliation inflicted by his website. Bollaert burst into tears as he listened to testimony from his mother and victims.

The sentence was at the high end of the range; Bollaert faced a maximum of 20 years. In explaining his punishment, the judge noted that he stacked the sentencing terms based on the multiple victims. Considering credits for good behavior, Bollaert could be eligible for parole after 10 years, the judge noted. Bollaert also must pay $10,000 in restitution.

It was the first case of its type in the United States, and California was the first state to prosecute someone for posting humiliating pictures online. Bollaert was convicted of 27 counts of identity theft and extortion in connection to the thousands of photos posted online. Once they were published, Bollaert would then demand hundreds of dollars from individuals to remove their photos through a second website he owned.

Prosecutors called Bollaert "vindictive" and claimed he took pleasure out of hurting his female victims with the internet being his "tool of destruction."...

The case centered on a now defunct website called YouGotPosted.com, created by Bollaert so ex-husbands and ex-boyfriends could submit embarrassing photos of victims for revenge. The photos also linked to victims’ social media accounts.

Prosecutors say those who wanted to get the pictures taken down were redirected to another one of Bollaert's sites, ChangeMyReputation.com. There, the victims were charged $300 to $350 to have their photos removed.

State law prohibits anyone from putting identifiable nude photos online after a breakup, punishable with $1,000 or six months in jail.

April 4, 2015 at 02:42 PM | Permalink

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Comments

I need more facts. What injuries took place? For example, a librarian for children was fired after her pictures got posted. The females called it humiliating. Is the nude body of a female shameful, obscene, or otherwise negative, even if not cultural meeting standards of beauty? Isn't it the opposite, except in the sick minds of the vile feminist lawyer that likely put the witnesses up to falsely testify? To the feminist all sex is rape, unless, of course, it is between lesbians.

The law violates the First Amendment Free Press Clause, unless the pictures were produced without any knowledge, as through a hidden recorder. What fraction of these pictures were taken without knowledge. If someone said, let's take a selfie of us in bed, isn't verbal approval or acquiescence sufficient consent, in the absence of an affirmative refusal?

Where are the defense lawyers here? Why are they not attacking the witnesses, the prosecutor, the judge?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 4, 2015 3:39:37 PM

Does the filthy vile feminist lawyer and its make running dog plan to prosecute the owners of this appalling, defamatory, and unfair web site?

http://www.dontdatehimgirl.com/

How about this left wing posting?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/21/11-types-of-women-men-dont-want-to-date_n_3112630.html

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 4, 2015 3:46:10 PM

Of course, it wasn't his biggest sentence, even if he got the maximum 20. Had he had to register as a sex offender, it would have been much worse for him. I'm surprised that this didn't mandate such registration. So to be blunt, he got off easy in my book.

Posted by: Eric Knight | Apr 4, 2015 4:58:16 PM

The article claims he was sentenced for the offenses of extortion and "identity theft." Yet confusingly, the article also states that "state law prohibits the posting of nude photos after a breakup." Without more info regarding the inferred relationship between the "state law which prohibits posting" and "identity theft," it's hard to determine the (un)constitutionality of the charged offense. If he went down for an offense which substantially prohibits the posting of nude pics of adults, my confident bet is that he will eventually walk, as the statute violates the First Amendment. The article additionally pointed out that this was the first prosecution of its kind. I'm waiting to see which (or how many) of the heavy hitters who specialize in shooting down these criminal laws which seem to disregard the First Amendment will jump at the chance to take this case pro bono.

Posted by: Mark m. | Apr 5, 2015 10:31:31 AM

Mark M. cannot be a lawyer. His comment makes sense.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 5, 2015 11:02:09 AM

@Supremecy Claus

I myself was surprised at the prosecutor's decision to distregard a charge of sexual abuse from the original charges, which would have made far more sense than "identity theft." Extortion, though, is relative to the incident and can be argued more competently, as long as the extortion can be tied to the sexual abuse consequence. Lack of a sex abuse consequence makes the case far more ambiguous.

Posted by: Eric Knight | Apr 5, 2015 1:43:11 PM

I'm with Mark M. i don't understand what is going on. IF he was charged with revenge porn I hope he takes it all the way to SCOTUS. OTOH if he was convicted of extortion--that seems reasonable to me because he was extorting them--same as those mugshot sites which is who they should go after next.

edit: I want to say to Doug that I have been commenting on your blog less because of the stipid capthca system. It has changed and I get stuff that is impossible to read. I don't fancy typing in the random letters ten times in a row just to post a comment.

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 5, 2015 8:41:27 PM

It is not extortion, it is a service fee.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Apr 6, 2015 4:02:58 PM

The site name 'ugotposted' already says enough.

Kevin deserved a long time behind bars, but the full sentence (18y) is too harsh for his crime. (possible parole after 10 years). Most violent criminals(murdering-raping people) get away with less. Just look at the police agent that shot the black kid and didn't even go to jail. The extortion of these women probably made the verdict so long and the government also wants to warn other clones like myex, ThePornDude ,... to shutdown their website. This guy knew it was totally wrong, but the easy cash (30,000+) made it hard to just stop.

Revenge porn will only become worse, even with a new strict law, since men share their ex-girlfriends material in a state of 'anger', but at least the girls have the law to help them out now, although the damage has already been done, once it's online. It's impossible to get it all removed.

What about doing more about prevention in high schools? How about teaching teenagers about 'revenge porn' in sex education class? If they are better informed about the possible consequences of sharing themselves naked, then we'll see less victims?

Posted by: Angelo White | Apr 10, 2015 9:30:55 PM

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