'Revenge porn' website operator sentenced to 18 years in jail

US citizen and creator of a 'revenge porn' website, Kevin Bollaert, 28, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after being convicted of 27 felony charges. Bollaert faced a lawsuit almost a year ago when he was charged for posting explicit images of people without their consent and identity theft, to which he pleaded not guilty.

According to the information obtained by the court, Bollaert, ran a website called "UGotPosted" which enabled ex-lovers to provide photographs of their partners along with contact details and links to various social networking profiles which would later be posted to the website. He was found guilty of the crime back in February when it was revealed that he had also set up a second website called "changemyreputation.com" for victims to pay $300-$350 in order to remove the objectionable content on his other website.

Eight women testified against him in a court in San Diego regarding the harassment and blackmail they had to face after their sexually explicit photos were shared on the website. Many had to leave their working and social lives, in order to refer to counselors for psychiatric assistance. One victim claimed that she had to face a "daily struggle" to re-build her life while another one testified that she had been thrown out of her home, stating that:

It ruined my life and I'm still going through it. I lost my family. They think that I brought shame on them. My reputation is ruined.

Almost 10,000 images were posted on the site between December 2012 and September 2013.

Bollaert's lawyer, Emily Rose-Weber, tried to argue that her client may have conducted an immoral business that took advantage of "human weakness" but claimed he didn't break the law by allowing others to post the explicit photos. "It's gross, it's offensive, but it's not illegal," she said.

But California Attorney General Kamala Harris dismissed the notion, stating that:

Sitting behind a computer, committing what is essentially a cowardly and criminal act, will not shield predators from the law or jail.

Prosecutors have said that he earned tens of thousands of dollars through this racket, although, he revealed that he also earned around $900 per month from advertisements. Along with a lengthy term in jail, Bollaert will have to pay $15,000 as a compensation to the victims as well as a $10,000 fine.

Another such operator of a revenge porn website, "IsAnyoneUp", Hunter Moore is also due for a sentence soon. He will also have to pay a hefty fine; in addition, he will also have to face up to seven years in prison for his crimes.

Source: The BBC |Internet Porn image via Shuttershock, Hate or Hating concepts image via Shuttershock

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