California man faces revenge porn charges

San Diego man charged with extorting money to remove explicit photos from revenge porn site

Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A San Diego man has been charged with operating a website that let people anonymously post explicit photographs of others so that he could extort hundreds of dollars from those whose privacy was breached.

Kevin Christopher Bollaert, 27, was arrested Tuesday by California Department of Justice agents on 31 felony counts of conspiracy, identity theft and extortion.

Bollaert created the "revenge porn" website a year ago, according to court documents. The site, which is now inactive, displayed thousands of anonymously posted nude and explicit pictures without the permission of those photographed, investigators said.

Unlike most such sites, investigators said ugotposted.com required that the victim be identified by name, age and other information, leading to the identity theft allegations. Bollaert is charged with obtaining identifying information with the intent to annoy or harass.

Bollaert's attorney, Alexander Landon, has not returned repeated telephone messages over two days.

The documents say Bollaert charged victims a fee ranging from $249.99 to $350 to remove the images, using emails sent through a second website, changemyreputation.com. That led to the extortion charges.

Both websites were inactive as of Wednesday.

His activities "turned their public humiliation and betrayal into a commodity with the potential to devastate lives," Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement.

Bollaert was released from San Diego County jail after posting $50,000 bail. He is set to appear in court Dec. 17.

The department says he told investigators during a six-month investigation that he received about $900 each month from online advertising. However, the department said records from his changemyreputation.com PayPal account show that he received tens of thousands of dollars.

Photographs used as revenge porn can be obtained during a consensual relationship, investigators said, or can be stolen or hacked from online accounts. The practice resulted in a new California law that makes it a misdemeanor to post identifiable nude pictures of someone else online without their permission and with the intent of causing serious emotional distress or humiliation, though that law was not cited in the charges against Bollaert.

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