Alleged 'Revenge Porn' Site Operator For Ugotposted.com Arrested On Felony Counts In California

on December 10 2013 9:39 PM
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A woman on her cell phone. Reuters

The creator of an alleged “revenge porn” website was arrested in California, Fox News reported Tuesday. Kevin Christopher Bollaert, 27, reportedly ran a website where more than 10,000 sexually explicit photos were posted to the Internet so he could then extort the victims on a separate site for as much to $350 to remove the illicit and personal content.

The California Attorney General’s Office said the San Diego man was charged with 31 felony counts of conspiracy, identity theft and extortion. “This website published intimate photos of unsuspecting victims and turned their public humiliation and betrayal into a commodity with the potential to devastate lives,” Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a news release.

Bollaert created in December 2012 a website called ugotposted.com, which allowed for Internet users to anonymously post intimate photographs that mainly contained nude and explicit images of women and men without their consent, according to the release cited by Fox News. The photos are typically obtained consensually during a former relationship, or have been stolen or hacked.

“Revenge porn,” unfortunately, is not a new concept. Such betrayals of trust post-breakup have been circulating the Web for some time, but what made ugotposted.com even worse is that it required the victim’s full name, location, age and even Facebook profile link to be uploaded along with the nude or explicit image.

“PLEASE HELP! I am scared for my life! People are calling my work place and they obtained that information through this site!” one of the subjects wrote to ugotposted.com’s email address in July. She is known as “Jane Doe #6” in Bollaert’s arrest warrant. The victim told authorities she thought her email account was illegally accessed. Jane Doe #6 reportedly added that nude photographs of her were emailed to family members and that she was scared to go back to work.

Others said they were harassed by strangers after their photos appeared on the website, which forced them to delete their Facebook profiles and even change their phone numbers.

But Bollaert’s sleazy scam allegedly gets even worse. He then purportedly created a second website, changemyreputation.com, where he would contact his victims and promise to remove the content-- but for a price, of course. He did not mention that he was the same person responsible for putting their personal pictures on the Internet in the first place.

According to the arrest warrant, the accused told authorities he was making $800 to $900 off ads that were linked to ugotposted.com and received nearly 100 emails a day from people who were looking to have their images taken down. He made tens of thousands of dollars off of people who paid him through the changemyreputation.com site, according to records that were obtained from its PayPal account. After a six-month-long investigation, he was arrested.

“Yeah, I realize like this is not a good situation,” Bollaert told authorities. “I feel bad about the whole thing and like I just don’t want to do it anymore. I mean I know a lot of people are getting screwed over like on the site. Like their lives are getting ruined.”

He could face up to 22 years in prison, Fox News wrote.

California is one of the few states in the county who have anti-revenge porn laws, and though some say it might lack the grit it needs to put an end to revenge porn, several other states like Maryland, Wisconsin and New York are considering similar decrees. There is opposition, however, from groups like American Civil Liberties Union, who are afraid such measures would infringe upon the First Amendment. Advocates, though, feel the laws are more than necessary. “This is cyber-rape,” Holly Jacobs, 30, a self-proclaimed victim of revenge porn, told FoxNews.com in September. “It violates you over and over again.”

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