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Revenge porn website owner sentenced to long prison term

In a prior post, we highlighted the conviction of revenge porn site operator under multiple charges of felony extortion and identity theft. The 28-year-old San Diego man ran a website where illicit pictures of women were either stolen from their computers or sent by vindictive exes were posted online for the public to see, and the women were required to pay a ransom of sorts in order to get them taken down.

In October 2013, California became the first state to pass a “revenge porn” law, which made such an act a misdemeanor. However, because many of the pictures posted on the man’s site were essentially stolen through unauthorized access to other people’s computers, the charges were upgraded to felony level crimes. According to prosecutors, more than 10,000 images were uploaded to the site between December 2012 and September 2013.

Since our last post on this matter, a sentencing hearing was held in Los Angeles County Superior Court, where the court heard impact statements from the women affected, as well as statements from the man himself. Afterwards, the court sentenced him to 18 years in state prison. The jail time is in addition to the $15,000 in restitution he was required to pay to his victims as well as a $10,000 fine.  When he pled guilty, he only faced seven years in prison.

However, after ostensibly considering a pre-sentence investigation and the victim impact statements, the court appears to have made an example out of the man. Nevertheless, the case exemplifies the need for an experienced criminal defense attorney when a person if charged with a cyber crime. 

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