Biggest Revenge Porn Case Yet Results In Website Creator Kevin Bollaert’s Conviction On 27 Felonies

In a landmark court ruling on Monday, a revenge porn website creator was convicted of theft and extortion. San Diego resident Kevin Bollaert was convicted on 27 felony counts, facing up to 20 years in prison for his now-defunct website UGotPosted.com. The 28-year-old created the website as a way for men to post nude pictures of their ex-girlfriends or ex-wives without their knowledge or consent.

According to court documents and the evidence presented at his trial, Bollaert made at least $30,000 in bribe money from running the revenge porn website and its companion, ChangeMyReputation.com. Women who found pictures of themselves on UGotPosted would reportedly request to have them removed via the latter website — for a hefty fee. Bollaert allegedly charged women up to $350 before taking down their nude photos.

The nude photos were reportedly tagged with personal information of the women, including their names, home addresses, and employers. NBC San Diego reports that Bollaert hosted more than 10,000 photos — all of which were obtained illegally — on UGotPosted. Bollaert knew the pictures were being submitted illegally, but the defense tried to argue that he wasn't violating any laws or causing the women any abuse.

"All of the harassment in this case came from third parties," his lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Emily Rose-Weber, said at the trial. Rose-Weber added that while the website was "sleazy" and "offensive," it wasn't illegal. But Deputy Attorney General Tawnya Austin disagreed, claiming Bollaert was "perverse" and had "no moral compass." Austin added that the harm already wrought by the website "is never going to go away for these victims."

Several women testified at his trial, explaining how Bollaert not only stole their private pictures, but used them to tarnish their reputations among their family, friends, employers, coworkers, and the general public. "[My family thinks] I brought shame on them," one victim testified.

Bollaert was even quoted in his arrest warrant back in 2013, saying:

Yeah, I realize like this is not a good situation. 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.
Adam Berry/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The warrant also included various emails from women whose images were illegally posted on the revenge porn website. "I don't know what gets you off about ruining people's lives," a woman named Melinda wrote, "but I was underage in the photo posted of me ... you are showing child pornography."

This was a landmark case in California, which passed an anti-revenge porn measure in October 2013. The law made it a misdemeanor to post identifiable nude pictures of someone online without their consent and with intent to cause humiliation or psychological distress. However, the penalty was just a $1,000 fine or up to six months in jail.

Bollaert's case went further, as this wasn't simply posting someone's picture, but also stealing their identity by posting personal information along with their stolen nude photos. "The publication of the victims nude images exposed them to disgrace within their public lives," court documents stated. The 28-year-old will remain in custody on $450,000 bail, at the suggestion of the deputy attorney general, who told the judge Bollaert was a major threat to his female victims if let out on bail.

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