Revenge on Purveyors of Revenge Porn

by Diane Dimond on April 13, 2015

Superior Court Judge William Gill

California Superior Court Judge David Gill

Can I get a high-five and a hallelujah for the California judge who recently sentenced cyber-criminal Kevin Bollaert to 18 years behind bars? Finally, at least some of the smarmy creatures who psychopathically roam the dark corners of the internet are being brought to justice.

Every indication is that laws and punishments are slowly but surely catching up with these creeps.

Bollaert, 27, is one of those repulsive human beings who made money off the pain of others by posting so-called “revenge porn,” sexually suggestive photographs exchanged between lovers and then used to humiliate when the relationship soured.

Cyber Criminal Kevin Bollaert at Arraignment

Cyber Criminal Kevin Bollaert at Arraignment

From his home base in San Diego, California Bollaert solicited jilted lovers to send in nude and embarrassing photos – mostly of young women — and then posted thousands of them on-line. When he was finally caught and charged with identity theft and extortion Bollaert was asked by an investigator why he started such an awful cyber-exploitation business.

“I don’t know, dude. Like, it was just fun…” he said.

At the now defunct UGotPosted.com website Bollaert uploaded more than 10,000 intimate images in just 10 months. To further shame the victims Bollaert included their name, location, age and Facebook profile.

But according to court documents he didn’t stop there. After women begged him via e-mail to remove their private pictures Bollaert steered them to his second website: ChangeMyReputation.com. There he extorted hundreds of dollars from each victim before agreeing to take down the offending photos.

Turn the Shame Factor on the Revenge Porn Culprits

Turn the Shame Factor on the Revenge Porn Culprits

Testimony from tearful victims revealed the human damage. One woman said that after reading some 400 vulgar messages on her social media sites her shaky emotional state forced her to quit college and seek help at a mental hospital. Another, quoted in the criminal complaint, said that after her family found out about her nude photos she was disowned and thrown out of the house. A third victim who got her intimate pictures removed only to see them re-posted said she nearly killed herself when police said they could do nothing to help.

Before announcing Bollaert’s sentence Superior Court Judge David Gill made it clear that probation was “clearly off the table” and offenders like the one who stood before him deserve, “a large dose of punishment.”

Hunter Moore in Happier Days - Headed for Prison Soon

Hunter Moore in Happier Days – Headed for Prison Soon

I’m betting that sent a shiver up the spine of Hunter Moore, 28, who Rolling Stone magazine once called, “The most hated man on the internet.”  Moore operated a similar site – also in California — called IsAnyoneUp.com and has now pleaded guilty to federal cyber-crime charges. He admits that in addition to accepting private revenge photos he and an accomplice hacked nude photos from other sites and re-posted them. Moore faces up to seven years in prison when he’s sentenced in June.

Yep. It seems the laws are finally catching up with the ugliest realities of the internet.

In Texas last year, a woman won a $500,000 settlement from an ex-boyfriend who had promised he would erase provocative photos and videos she sent him over the years. Instead, after they broke up he plastered them across the internet and then cruelly taunted her with statistics about how many people had seen them.

Melissa Berry won $600k From Her Tormenter

Melissa Berry won $600k From Her Tormenter

In Tampa last October, a young woman who was horrified to learn that her ex had not only posted her sexually suggestive photos on-line but had also e-mailed them to her mother, won a $600,000 award against the man.

Those two men are unlikely to be able to pay the hefty awards but, pending appeals, the court judgements could dog them for the rest of their lives.

As it stands now, 17 states have passed laws regulating revenge porn in one way or another: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, New Jersey, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Utah Virginia and Wisconsin (Texas is poised to pass such a law.) If you don’t see your state on the list you might want to ask your lawmakers, “What are we waiting for?”

More and more victims have begun to fight back – with or without state laws to back up their civil court claims. So, to anyone bent on some kind of internet based revenge, a warning. If your victim challenges you in court, you may be found liable – for the rest of your life.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa April 13, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Diane,
Have you heard of Cheaterville? The same guy who owns bullyville?
He is no different. He owns these sites and also directs people to go a site like this. (See html code)

Why not bring them all down?

Reply

Diane Dimond April 13, 2015 at 10:00 pm

Facebook Friend Jack Furlong writes:

“I can agree with the prosecution of extortionists; I need a little more insight into the pathology of sending nude selfies to anyone, then expressing shock when they get misused. Is there technology that would automatically destroy the digital image upon attempted republication, a la Snapchat?”

Reply

Diane Dimond April 13, 2015 at 10:04 pm

Dear Jack,
Who knows why ANYONE in this day and age would think its okay to send intimate photos of themselves to others? The recipient will promise and promise never to show them to anyone but … Well, we know what happens to promises when hearts are broken.
No, I don’t know of any digital program except the aforementioned Snapchat that automatically destroys an image. And, if someone on Snapchat is fast enough to make a screen cap of the sexy picture it lives on forever.
Senders beware.

Reply

Diane Dimond April 13, 2015 at 10:05 pm

Facebook Friend Drew Rutberg writes:

“Jack makes a good point. If you don’t want your hand bitten off don’t stick it in lions cage and if you don’t want nude photos of you on the net don’t give them away or allow a man to photograph you. That being said any man who would do this isn’t a man.”

Reply

Diane Dimond April 13, 2015 at 10:07 pm

Facebook Friend Ronald Jeffries Tallman writes:

“Finally some teeth. But also why not keep the camera (phone) away from those intimate moments? Enjoy the real moment as it is why is it necessary to have a record of.”

Reply

Diane Dimond April 14, 2015 at 11:01 am

Twitter pal gbyland writes:

“@DiDimond Often so much blame/judgment is put on the women who send out the pics, & not on those who violated their trust & exploited them.”

Reply

Diane Dimond April 14, 2015 at 11:03 am

Twitter Pal Schlaff73 writes:

“@DiDimond Times have really changed , Revenge Porn was unheard of and now it’s an illegal tool”

Reply

dean anderson April 15, 2015 at 5:31 pm

Have you been paying attention to the SLAPP litigation involving another revenge pornographer James McGibney who runs the Cheaterville and Bullyville websites? Cheaterville charges $499 to remove photos and defamatory postings. McGibney got all butt hurt cuz people called him out and all of his advertisers fled, so McGibney filed a series of SLAPP suits and recently in Texas got hit pretty hard and is facing $250,000 in attorney’s fees and $1 million in sanctions. Texas is unique in that a defendant gets MANDATORY sanctions. McGibney also got blown out of federal court for filing a SLAPP suit there, too.

Reply

dean anderson April 15, 2015 at 5:33 pm

Oh, and McGibney claimed for years how he is an “anti-bullying advocate” and used to have GLEE star Becca Tobin as a celebrity spokesperson. But when McGibney started getting sued for revenge porn in federal court (3 lawsuits so far) she came out publicly against him. Al-Jazeera wrote an article about this guy and showed what a real tool he is. Check out ViaViewFiles on Wordpress for all the court documents. McGibney / @Bullyville got banned from Twitter for abuse and cyber-stalking, too. It is all quite funny.

Reply

Diane Dimond April 16, 2015 at 11:59 am

Facebook Friend Shirlee Morris writes:

“Hopefully other cyber crimes will start being punished more harshly as well. Until you have been the victim of cyber crime you have no idea how drastically your changes forever.”

Reply

Diane Dimond April 16, 2015 at 11:59 am

Facebook Friend Robert Nentwicke writes:

“Let’s put an end to the lack of punishment for cyber-bullying as well.”

Reply

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