"Revenge Porn" Defendant Sentenced to 18 Years | NBC 7 San Diego

"Revenge Porn" Defendant Sentenced to 18 Years

In an unprecedented criminal case, Kevin Bollaert was found guilty of posting sexually explicit photos of women online to extort them

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    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. NBC 7's Gene Cubbison reports. (Published Friday, April 3, 2015)

    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.

    Man Sentenced in Revenge Porn Case

    [DGO] Man Sentenced in Revenge Porn Case
    Kevin Bollaert was sentenced in San Diego on April 3, 2015, in a "revenge porn" case in which he posted thousands of nude and sexually explicit photos of women online without their permission. He's one of the first to be prosecuted under California's anti-revenge porn law. NBC 7's Liberty Zabala reports. (Published Friday, April 3, 2015)

    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." 

    Revenge Porn Defendant Breaks Down in Court

    [DGO] Revenge Porn Defendant Breaks Down in Court
    NBC 7's cameras were in court to capture the defendant as his parents spoke to a judge. This is video from the morning session. (Published Friday, April 3, 2015)

    In court Friday, his parents told the judge their son has said he has shown remorse.

    "He has said many times he wishes he never made the website...If he could go back and change it all, he would," they said in a statement to the court.

    One after another victims shared how they were damaged by Bollaert's actions.

    "It's just broken me on a level that's not describable," one woman told the court. "The only thing I have left is shame and anger."

    Revenge Porn Case Called a Landmark

    [DGO]Revenge Porn Case Called a Landmark
    Kevin Bollaert, 27, has been charged with 31 felony counts for allegedly posting nude photos of women online, then charging the women to have the photos removed. NBC 7’s Megan Tevrizian talks with defense attorney Lindsey Mercer about why this is being called a landmark cases and what it could mean for similar cases going forward. (Published Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013)

    Another explained how she is haunted by her photos being made public, saying,"If someone looks at me? Are they remembering me?" She also described her experience as a daily struggle.

    A third victim said she has a hard time acknowledging Bollaert as a human being.

    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.