‘Revenge porn’ website creator to stand trial

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SAN DIEGO — A 27-year-old man accused of posting thousands of nude photos of women on a so-called “revenge porn” website without their consent, then extorting money from those who wanted the images removed, was ordered Monday to stand trial on 31 felony counts.

Following a five-day preliminary hearing, Judge David Gill ruled that enough evidence was presented for Kevin Christopher Bollaert to proceed to trial on conspiracy, identity theft and extortion charges involving 14 alleged victims — all identified as “Jane Doe” in court documents.

Kevin Bollaert

Kevin Bollaert in court

Jane Doe 5 testified that she began getting nasty and racial comments after sexually explicit photos of her were posted on Bollaert’s website, “yougotposted.com.”

The woman said she had no idea that her ex-boyfriend had taken the photos when they went on a trip.

She said she emailed “yougotposted.com” to take the photos down, but got no response. The pictures eventually were removed from the website a week later.

In addition to the photos, the woman’s name, location and phone number were posted on the website, prompting nasty calls and texts at all hours of the day, she said.

“It was just scary because all these people knew who I was,” the woman testified.

In December 2012, Bollaert created yougotposted.com, which allows people to create anonymous, public posts of private explicit photographs without their subjects’ permission, according to court documents.

Commonly known as revenge porn, such images, generally of nude young women, typically are obtained consensually by the poster during a prior relationship, or are stolen.

Unlike other such online sites, on which those depicted in the photos are anonymous, yougotposted.com required that a poster include the subject’s full name, location, age and social-networking profile link, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.

Under California law, it is illegal to willfully obtain someone’s personal identifying information — including name, age and address — for any unlawful purpose, including with the intent to “annoy” or harass.

Between Dec. 2, 2012, and Sept. 17 of last year, Bollaert and unnamed co- conspirators posted 10,170 explicit photos without the subjects’ consent, according to prosecutors.

Bollaert also allegedly created a second online site, “changemyreputation.com,” which he used when people contacted ugotposted.com to request that content be removed from the site.

Bollaert allegedly extorted victims by replying with a changemyreputation.com email address and offering to remove the content for a fee ranging from $300 to $350.

The defendant will be back in court July 16 for arraignment.

 

Story by Kelly Wheeler of City News Service