‘Revenge porn’ suspect in cuffs

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IOL pic dec11 san diego revenge porn suspect held

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San Diego - United States police on Tuesday arrested a 27-year-old man accused of running a “revenge porn” website hosting over 10 000 sexually explicit photos as part of an extortion ploy, officials said.

Kevin Christopher Bollaert, 27, was arrested in San Diego and charged with 31 felony counts of conspiracy, identity theft and extortion over the racket, which allegedly made him tens of thousands of dollars.

“This website published intimate photos of unsuspecting victims and turned their public humiliation and betrayal into a commodity with the potential to devastate lives,” said California's Attorney General Kamala Harris said.

Bollaert, who is being held in jail on $50 000 bail, allegedly created the website ugotposted.com in December last year, allowing explicit photos to be posted without the subject's permission.

Such photos, commonly knows as revenge porn, are typically obtained consensually during a relationship, but then posted without permission, or are simply stolen or hacked.

Unlike other revenge porn websites where photos are anonymous, ugotposted.com required the poster to include the subject's full name, location, age and Facebook profile link.

Bollaert created a second website, changemyreputation.com, which he used when individuals contacted ugotposted.com asking for their photos to be removed from the site.

He then allegedly extorted victims by offering, from the changemyreputation website, to remove content from ugotposted.com for a fee of up to $350, allegedly making tens of thousands of dollars, according to court documents.

“Online predators that profit from the extortion of private photos will be investigated and prosecuted for this reprehensible and illegal Internet activity,” Harris said in a statement. - AFP


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