Phone hacked
A senior constable from Sydney was arrested and charged for taking and circulating intimate pictures from an arrested woman's cellphone. This photographs shows a mobile phone with a circuit diagram on its display during HackCBS event in New Delhi, Oct. 27, 2018. GettyImages/ XAVIER GALIANA

An Australian policeman from Sydney was facing a sentence of up to one year in jail for illicitly obtaining intimate photos of an arrested woman from her cellphone, and forwarding them to fellow officers on a Facebook chat. He was due to be sentenced Feb. 12.

Steven Albee, a 29-year-old senior constable, arrested a woman — who wasn't identified — in April 2017 after she refused to cooperate in a road-side drug test during a traffic stop. She was arrested and her cellphone was confiscated, according to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald. The phone was investigated using a police software, which turned up, among other things, four private pictures. Three of the photographs were of genitals of the woman and the fourth one was that of her boyfriend's torso and penis.

Albee uploaded two of the pictures to an unofficial Facebook chat group that included four other police officers. He also informed them that the pictures were of the arrested woman and that he had obtained them from her cellphone. All the officers were believed to have seen the pictures. The chat group was later closed and once the incident came to light, Albee was suspended with pay.

Officers from the Professional Standards Command — who sets standard for behavior, performance and integrity for police in New South Wales state of Australia, where Sydney is — talked to the arrested woman and her boyfriend during the investigation to confirm whether the pictures belonged to them.

Both of them confirmed the pictures were theirs and were meant for private use. The woman said she was "upset and embarrassed" by the incident, while her boyfriend said he was "angry and upset."

Following the investigation, Albee was charged with using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend in May 2018.

Albee pleaded guilty Tuesday morning (Monday evening EST) before a local court and left the premises without saying anything, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. He faces a fine of $12,600, or up to one year of imprisonment, or both.