Judge reduces jail time for operator of ‘revenge porn’ site

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SAN DIEGO -  A judge reduced the jail time for a man convicted of running a 'revenge porn' website from 18 to eight years Monday.

Superior Court Judge David Gill ordered the "split sentence'' for Kevin Bollaert, who was convicted in February in what state Attorney General Kamala Harris said was the first criminal prosecution of a cyber-exploitation website operator in the country.

Bollaert is serving the longest jail term handed down in San Diego County since the state began allowing non-violent offenders to do their time in county jail. He and his lawyer argued local jails are not equipped to deal with a lengthy jail term so Judge David Gill decided to split his sentence.

“The split will occur at 8 years.” Said San Diego Superior Court Judge David Gill.

 The 29-year-old was convicted in February of 27 felony counts including identity theft and extortion after he blackmailed victims through his website, forcing them to pay hundreds of dollars to have their nude or intimate photos removed.

The California Attorney General’s Office said Bollaert is serving an appropriate sentence and that changing it would create a precedent.

“Whether or not he is on a concrete floor, or has this much time here or that much time there, there are other ways to address that. The victims don’t care about that," Deputy Attorney General Tawnya Boulan Austin said.

His attorney, Emily Rose-Weber argued state prisons are better equipped for inmates serving lengthy sentences saying the state provides inmates with education or re-entry programs.

“(Prosecutors) said something to the effect of, 'Let’s see where he is in five years.' We’re not going to really know where he’s going to be in five years if all he’s allowed to do is sit in a cell,”  Rose-Weber said.

 Bollaert’s father made an emotional appeal on behalf of his son.

“I’m asking you your honor, this is our chance to redirect this young man, who can do something in society and not just be an animal that walks through a cage back and forth," the father said. "He has a compass. He went off course."

Bollaert will serve 8 years in jail and the remainder of his sentence under mandatory supervision in the community.

During the trial, 21 victims testified that they were embarrassed and humiliated when their private nude photos and personal identifying information turned up on a now-defunct website called "yougotposted.com.''

Bollaert allowed users to upload 10,170 private explicit photographs anonymously to "yougotposted.com'' between December 2012 and September 2013. The defendant had a second website that charged victims money to get the photos taken down.

Unlike other "revenge porn'' sites, "yougotposted.com'' prompted users to also share personal identifying information about the subject in the photo, including name, age and address, according to prosecutors.

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