Twin Peaks Defense Attorney says District Attorney is using revenge porn to criminalize his client

The defense team for a Twin peaks defendant filed a motion Thursday to get Mclennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna removed from their client’s trial — citing “illegal and outrageous” government conduct.

Houston-based Defense Attorney Paul Looney demanded Reyna be replaced by a special prosecutor. He claimed Reyna was criminally victimizing his client — Cody Ledbetter and Ledbetter’s wife.

“We just want a trial, but instead, we’re getting revenge porn,” Looney said.

According to Looney, Ledbetter had images of himself and his wife engaging in sexual activity on his cell phone. After Ledbetter’s arrest, Looney said Reyna copied and distributed those images more than 150 times to counsel and staff for each of the Twin Peaks defendants.

“There’s nothing kinky, nothing weird, it’s a married couple engaging in married activities,” Looney said. “It has nothing to do with any theory, or any case dealing with Twin Peaks.”

Looney said he filed a private motion with 19th District Court Judge Ralph Strother to get those images back, but that was dismissed. He said he has no choice but to go public and hold the Reyna accountable.

“We can’t control the outcome, but we can control trying, and we’re going to try our damnedest,” Looney said.

The hearing is in three weeks. District Attorney Abel Reyna has not offered a comment on the claims yet. Ledbetter’s trial is scheduled for January. Looney said he has no plans to delay the trial.

© 2017 KCEN-TV

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Fake model scouts tricking UK girls into sharing explicit photos | Society

A growing number of teenage girls are being approached online by fake model recruiters who lure them into sending indecent images of themselves, which are later used to extort money.

Facebook and Instagram accounts are being set up in the names of leading model agencies such as Storm Model Management, which discovered Kate Moss and represents Cindy Crawford.

Girls receive messages from someone who claims to be recruiting for the agency; they are encouraged to send topless photos or conduct a Skype interview in which they are asked to remove their clothes or wear lingerie.

Sarah Doukas, the managing director of Storm, said that in the past two years the number of calls the agency had received about scam agents had risen from one a week to almost daily messages.

“The rise of social media has impacted greatly on why modelling agency scams are increasing,” Doukas said. “Firstly, a lot of young people’s Instagram accounts are not private, and consequently they are easy to approach. Secondly, fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated because of social media generally.

“We are getting more scammers posing as ‘friends’ of the model agency and offering an introduction to us, and this is not legitimate. There was one example recently, which went on for several months, where a vulnerable girl was invited to a shoot and she ended up taking her clothes off. She had been approached by a fraudster claiming to know me.”

In the UK last year there were 327 reported cases of scam model recruiters. DI Chris Felton, crime manager at the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, said a “significant” number involved scammers operating on social media.

“Social media means [scammers] can now reach a larger audience than previously, and if you are after a younger demographic then it’s an easy way to reach them,” he said. “[The number of cases of scam model recruiters] may have gone up slightly, but if you look back, social media will have played a bigger role because it’s how people communicate now.”

In other instances, girls are asked to pay extortionate amounts of money to get portfolios or “comp cards” (essentially a business card). A legitimate agency would offer these for free.

Doukas said: “Young people and their parents or guardians must be vigilant and defensive – do not trust anyone until you have established they are legitimate, and do your research.”

Alex Haddad, the director of BMA Models, said his agency was receiving 10 phone calls and 20 emails a week about scam agents – nearly twice as many as last year.

“[Scammers] use names from our agency, a booker or agent. They have used different people in the past – our website has a history of who works here on it. They then contact people from Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook and pretend to be a headhunter or recruiter,” he said. “They will say they are scouting for models and ask for pictures, sometimes they ask for naked shots … We are getting phone calls from concerned parents saying, ‘Is this a scam? What is happening?’

“Some of them do Skype calls which are so-called interviews, and they ask things like, ‘Would you shave your head or go topless?’ It’s always young girls who get targeted.”

Jessica Barker, co-founder of the cyber security consultancy Redacted Firm, said she had heard cases of girls being lured into sending sexually explicit images and told the photos would be posted online unless the scammers were paid.

“Teenage girls using Instagram and sharing pictures get approached by someone who has a profile looking like a modelling scout or talent scout for TV and film, often in the US,” she said. “They say the girls look great and have the right look for film or whatever modelling campaign they are supposedly doing. Then they ask, ‘Can we see some more pictures?’ They flatter the girls a lot and give them hope in terms of what they are looking for. They encourage the girls to then share explicit pictures, and when they do they try to extort them of money.”

Barker added: “Awareness is key. This form of attack is very unknown and people are not talking about it much in media. If you’re in this situation, approached by someone asking you for explicit images, don’t send them. A reputable model agency, for example, would never ask for someone to send naked images of themselves. If you have sent the images and are worried about being scammed, or you have received threats, tell a trusted adult.”

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New Bill Could Make Revenge Porn A Crime In NYC: Gothamist




After years of stalled efforts at the state level, New York City is now pursing its own legislation to criminalize “revenge porn”—the act of sharing explicit photos of a person with the “intention to cause economic, emotional or physical harm.”

Under the new bill, which is expected to get a committee vote in the council next month, sleazy offenders who share “intimate images” without their subject’s consent will face one year in jail and a fine of $1,000. Victims may also pursue civil penalties—including “compensatory and punitive damages”—in the absence of a criminal conviction.

The bill was first introduced by Queens Councilman Rory Lancman last September, and has since gained the support of both Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD.

“It is critically important for the laws in New York City to catch up with our technology to provide protections for New Yorkers from such abuse,” Lancman said in a statement. “Criminalizing revenge porn will ensure perpetrators can be held accountable for their actions, and that victims can receive justice they deserve.”

“These are real victims that we don’t have a tool on the books to actually assist,” NYPD Legislative Affairs Director Oleg Chernyavsky explained during a hearing for the bill earlier this year.

While the city-level legislation is being “primed” for a forthcoming vote in the Public Safety Committee, a similar bill at the state level has languished without a vote for three straight years. “There’s people who blame the victim for taking the pictures or allowing that significant other to take the pictures in the first place,” an anonymous Albany source told the NY Post.

New York is one of just 12 hold-out states that have refused to criminalize revenge porn, though the city’s bill might soon change that, according to Brooklyn attorney Carrie Goldberg, a pioneer in the field of sexual privacy.

“The cost to one’s reputation, finances, safety and overall future as a victim are mind-blowing, and it’s wonderful that our city lawmakers grasp this,” Goldberg told Gothamist.

“Obviously, it’s clear that our local city lawmakers prioritize sexual privacy much more than our state lawmakers—it’s my wish that some day all 20 million New York state residents will get protection.”

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Colorado’s revenge porn law brings nearly 200 charges, but getting convictions is a challenge – The Denver Post

A Colorado law designed to punish people for revenge porn — posting intimate photos of former lovers or spouses on the internet typically following a break-up — has resulted in nearly 200 charges since it was passed three years ago, but securing convictions and guilty pleas has been a challenge.

There have been 192 misdemeanor cases for non-consensual pornography filed since House Bill 14-1378 became law in July 2014. Just over a third of those have resulted in guilty pleas or verdicts, reflecting the difficulty of proving the cases but also, possibly, weaknesses in the law.

While law enforcement officials and victims advocates praised the law’s success, they remained measured because, The Denver Post found, many cases have been either dismissed or set aside in plea-bargain deals.

Also, it doesn’t appear anyone has yet used the law’s strongest tool at punishing someone for allegedly posting nude photos of ex-girlfriends or ex-wives — most of those charged are men — without permission: filing a civil lawsuit that offers guaranteed penalties of at least $10,000.

“It’s hard to know how many cases there might be because they are not filed as revenge porn,” said attorney Cassandra Kirsch, who has represented a handful of clients whose cases were settled before a lawsuit was filed. “And a lot of attorneys bring them under different theories, such as an invasion of privacy case or defamation or negligence. The law is relatively new, and a lot of people just don’t know they can file it.”

In a lawsuit recently filed in Denver District Court, a three-time Paralympian accuses her airline pilot ex-boyfriend of circulating nude photos she shared with him during their relationship. The unidentified 39-year-old woman’s lawsuit against her 41-year-old ex-boyfriend doesn’t use the new state law, but instead relies on laws aimed at defamation and invasion of privacy.

The Post found that most of the misdemeanor criminal charges filed under Colorado statute 18-7-107 — including one against the airline pilot — were accompanied by another charge, though 89 were filed by themselves, state court records show. There were 37 misdemeanor charges of posting intimate photos on the internet without permission that were part of a larger felony case.

Of the 192 cases filed, 117 have already been decided: 42 ended in a guilty plea or verdict, a 36 percent conviction rate, state court records show. Of the remainder, 27 were dismissed, three were acquittals, 26 were dismissed as part of a plea-bargain agreement, and 19 were dismissed as part of a deferred sentence deal. There were 75 cases still pending as of Sept. 1.

“Dismissals are unusual, but a vast majority of our cases will end up in plea agreements,” said Denver District Attorney Beth McCann, who voted for the bill as a legislator and now prosecutes the offenders. “It’s particularly difficult with cases where victims and perpetrators know each other, and this happens far too frequently with these.”

The law isn’t as clear as it could be, Kirsch said. For example, it does not apply to photos of someone who is clothed, even if they are engaged in a sexual act.

“If you have sexual activity and the victim is clothed, that’s not technically a violation since, in the case of oral sex, it’s the defendant’s body that is shown, not the plaintiff’s,” Kirsch explained.

That too few of the criminal cases have resulted in a conviction is not a surprise, she said.

“Firstly, how do you know they are the one to post the photo on the internet?” Kirsch asked. “There’s a difficult burden of proof. Often times it’s only the plaintiff’s word, and sometimes it’s the same photo that was shared with multiple partners. That’s difficult to unravel and difficult to hold people accountable.”

El Paso has most in state

With 15, Denver County ranks fourth for the number of revenge porn cases it has filed since 2014, tied with Larimer County, records show. Three were dismissed, and three others were dismissed as part of a plea-bargain deal in Denver. Two were dismissed in Larimer County.

Tops in the state, however, is El Paso County, with 32 revenge porn cases filed — the county where bill-sponsor Amy Stephens resides. Of those cases, nine were dismissed outright, four were dropped as part of a deferred judgment, and five others were dismissed on a plea bargain, records show. There were five guilty verdicts, and nine cases are pending.

“I’m actually pretty shocked by that,” said Stephens, who left the legislature in 2014. “I knew from the beginning that this would be tough to prosecute, but just because of that doesn’t mean you don’t do the right thing and make it a crime. A number of people are trying to get their justice and it’s not OK for people to get a free pass.”

A spokesman for El Paso County Prosecutor Dan May said he was away and unable to comment.

In her lawsuit, the Paralympian says her ex-boyfriend, Byron Rodenburg, allegedly posted the woman’s photos to a pair of pornographic websites in which users rate a person’s intimate parts. She has asked to remain anonymous in her lawsuit because of her status as a semi-public figure and because it could impact her regular job.

In court papers, the woman’s attorneys say about a half-million people have seen the photos, which included a caption with her real name and birthday. Some users tracked her down on Facebook and wrote to her, the lawsuit says, increasing her anxiety and trauma. The lawsuit says she’s since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Her attorney, Mark Jachimiak, did not comment.

“While in today’s world of technology it may be less shocking to learn that some couples take and share explicit pictures to use and share within the safety and confines of their partnership,” the lawsuit reads, “it is not commonplace to have one half of the partnership then post the pictures, along with a vulgar paragraph coined as an invitation to harm (the woman) on pornographic websites for hundreds of thousands of people to see.”

Rodenburg is also charged in Adams County with posting an image for harassment, a misdemeanor, and felony stalking, records show.

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Korean man jailed for spreading ‘revenge porn’

SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – A man in his 30s has been found guilty of posting nude photos of his former girlfriend on social media in an apparent “revenge porn” scheme.

Busan District Court on Sunday (Oct 8) handed down a jail term of 1½ years to the man for spreading private sexual images without consent. The court said it took into consideration how the suspect had no previous criminal records and had already paid alimony to the victim.

In December last year, the man allegedly created a fake social media profile impersonating his former girlfriend and posted nude photos of her with obscene comments.

The man told investigators he decided to post the nude photos, as his former girlfriend had been avoiding contact with him in an attempt to break up.

The fake profile was later taken down. However, the photos had already been circulated on other networks and websites.

The victim has reportedly been suffering from severe psychological distress and suicidal thoughts, as her acquaintances have seen the photos.

The court said the victim initially pleaded for the suspect to be left unpunished, but later retracted her plea, showing signs of severe psychological distress.

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Nationals’ assistant hitting coach faces revenge porn lawsuit


SportsPulse: From Nationals Park, Trysta Krick and USA TODAY Sports’ baseball insiders look ahead to a full day of postseason baseball.

The Washington Nationals announced that assistant hitting coach Jacque Jones was suspended pending a legal matter minutes before Friday’s Game 1 of the NLDS – a game they would lose 3-0 to the Chicago Cubs.

The team said Jones’ suspension with pay was due to a pending legal matter that the club is investigating. Court documents obtained by USA TODAY Sports spell out what that legal matter appears to be: a revenge porn lawsuit that lists both Jones and the Nationals as defendants.

According to the lawsuit filed last week in San Diego Superior Court, Jones allegedly distributed multiple nude photos of the plaintiff — referenced as Jane Doe in the filing — after Jones and the woman’s relationship ended in August. The Nationals were served with the lawsuit on Friday, Rory Pendergast, an attorney for Jones’ ex-girlfriend, told USA TODAY Sports.

“Ask ya homegirl if she wants these back?” Jones allegedly wrote to a Facebook friend in a message that accompanied the images. “I see your post and she’s on some bull (expletive). She’s loony and the type of chick that makes a (expletive) wanna stay single.”

The Washington Post was the first to report the lawsuit.

More: Cubs outlast Stephen Strasburg, steal Game 1 of NLDS vs. Nationals

More: Las Vegas roots bring Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant together again

Robert Fitzpatrick, the woman’s attorney, alleges in the lawsuit Jones continued to distribute the photos to other mutual friends and that Jones, who played in the majors 10 seasons, was “punishing” her for ending the relationship.

“(The) plaintiff is seeking justice for Coach Jones’s intimidation and emotional abuse in connection with his distribution of private and intimate photos of plaintiff while on the job with the Washington Nationals,” Pendergast said in an email.

No legal representation was listed for either Jones or the Nationals.

Nationals manager Dusty Baker called Jones’ suspension “kind of a downer.”

 “He’s a big part of the team,” Baker said after the 3-0 loss to Chicago. “I don’t know if that had anything to do with it, but it was a bit of a downer, and we hope that things subside and work themselves out.”

The lawsuit also claims that the Nationals “knew of Coach Jones’s propensity and predisposition to emotionally abuse and intimidate women.”

When contacted, Fitzpatrick wrote the Nationals “failed to investigate, failed to train, and improperly retained Coach Jones even after it knew or should have known of his bad conduct toward women. … Defendant Washington Nationals did nothing.”

According to the lawsuit, Jones’ ex-girlfriend continues to experience “severe emotional distress, embarrassment, and even physical manifestations of the pain, including vomiting at the thought of Coach Jones’s actions.”

Jones is in his second season with the club.

The lawsuit seeks at least $25,000 in damages. The first hearing date is March 9.

Follow Perez on Twitter @byajperez

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Revenge porn in India: What to do when your ex threatens to put your private videos online

Being through a toxic relationship is hard. It affects both your mental and physical health. Revenge porn could be a result of such toxic relationships. This sick act is on the rise in the past few years. According to a study[1], narcissists and those with psychopathic traits, like impulsivity and lack of empathy, are more likely to post revenge porn online. The researchers also found that 87 percent of participants expressed at least some excitement or amusement with revenge porn. Things get ugly and dangerous if you find yourself in a situation where the guy threatens to post your personal pictures or video that were taken by your consent when things were good. If you are going through this, fret not and read this. And if you are someone who is planning to do this with some girls read this to know what’s in store for you:

1. It is time for you to take action against that person. DO NOT let the person take advantage of you emotionally. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! Channelise your anger and other emotions properly. Know your rights.

2. For social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, Facebook recently rolled out tools to help people thwart the circulation of their intimate images without consent or ‘revenge porn’ on its platforms including Messenger and photo-sharing service Instagram. If you notice an intimate image on Facebook that seems to have been shared without permission, your first step should be to report it by using the “Report” link that appears next to the post. A Facebook team will then review the image and remove it. It does not stop here. Facebook uses photo-matching technologies to help curb further attempts to share the image on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.

3. Even though there are are no specific laws in India, you must know that revenge porn is a punishable crime with 3-7 years of imprisonment and attracts a fine up to Rs. 10 lakh under various sections of the IT Act, 2000 and the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

4. Consent for the capture of the material isn’t considered what is important is the consent for uploading it. Uploading any such material without consent is a punishable offence under sections 66E, 67, 67A of the IT act and section 354C of the IPC and it also applies to images captured without consent.

5. In the case of publishing obscene content about anyone below the age of 18, the consequences are even more aggravated under section 67B of the IT Act.

6. Even videos and pictures that are morphed or photoshopped attract punishments.

7. Threatening to reveal the person’s name or other harassment of that sort will attract laws on defamation under Sections 400 and 506.

8. The government has set up cyber forensic training and investigation labs in various states in the country and cyber-crime cells have been set in all the states and union territories in the country. You can report there and get your issue resolved easily.

Image: Shutterstock (For representational purposes only)

[1] Sirianni, J. M. (2015). Bad romance: Exploring the factors that influence revenge porn sharing amongst romantic partners(Doctoral dissertation, State University of New York at Buffalo).


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Basically legal: Montana fails to protect victims of revenge porn. Why? | Features

At a Fourth of July party in 2016, a stranger approached Hannah Jennaway, then 21, with an unsettling question:

“Are you the girl in the Snapchats I just got?”

Jennaway’s stomach sank. “No,” she lied. She knew what the girl was referring to and hated imagining anyone watching it — especially someone she didn’t know. As the night went on, more people texted her asking about the Snapchat videos they’d received of two people having sex, including a girl who looked just like her.

Earlier that day, Jennaway went cliff jumping at Ennis Lake with a group of friends. Worn out after a day in the sun, she returned to Bozeman with two friends to clean up before going to a party to celebrate the Fourth of July. While Jennaway’s friend Dilan Koelzer, then 20, showered, Jennaway and her other friend went into Koelzer’s bedroom, pushed a couch against the door because it didn’t have a lock and started having sex.

Minutes later, Jennaway noticed someone had pushed the door open and come into the room. The lights were off and it was dark until a bright light flashed to her right. She held her arm out in front of her face.

“Stop, Dilan. Go away,” she told him.

After that, Jennaway said she knew Koelzer remained in the room but didn’t realize he was taking videos of her.

When it was over, Jennaway checked her phone. She had three Snapchats from Koelzer. In the first Snapchat video, she watched herself put her hand out to tell him to stop. Jennaway felt uncomfortable about the fact that he had filmed her having sex, but assumed the videos had only been sent to her. She didn’t confront him about it right away.

Later that night at the party she realized, horrified, that many people had received them.

Because Snapchat deletes its data, it’s impossible to know exactly how many people received the videos, but the citation eventually filed against Koelzer claims it was at least eight.

“I think he just went down his Snapchat list,” Jennaway said.

Non-consensual porn, commonly called “revenge porn,” involves the distribution of sexual or nude images of people without their consent. Thirty-eight states in the U.S. have laws that make it illegal, and Montana was on its way to join them in the most recent legislative session until, unexpectedly, the bill failed.

House Bill 129 was one of a handful of bills that sought to amend Montana’s sexual assault laws. Six other bills did pass with bipartisan support — redefining the legal definition of rape in Montana and rescinding parental rights from rapists whose victims became pregnant. HB 129 initially performed well, passing the House 95-5 and then breezing through second reading in the Senate 49-1.

But in the senate judiciary committee, the portion of the bill that criminalized the distribution of intimate images against someone’s consent was removed. In that version, the bill wouldn’t protect people who took images of themselves and sent them to an intimate partner expecting they would be kept between the two of them. Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, explained to the Senate that the amendment was intended to place responsibility on “selfie senders,” even if their intimate photos are later distributed without their consent.

“Protection for the selfie sender was taken out by removing the words ‘or distribute,’” Regier said to the Senate during the bill’s second reading. “It was felt that personal responsibility needs to be a part of the issue. We are all told that your email, Youtube, Facebook, whatever can be out there for everyone to see forever. There was some concern in committee over a naive underage person being taken advantage of as well, but even they need to know that there are consequences for their actions.”

After that change, HB 129 failed in an unusual 0-50 vote in the Senate. Removing punishment for distributing images without permission made the bill stray too far from its original intent, making former supporters vote against it.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Ellie Hill Smith, D-Missoula, who was confident it would pass. She has been advocating for the criminalization of non-consensual porn for years and was shocked when a reporter called her to ask about the failed bill as she drove away from Helena, certain that battle was over.

“For four years I’ve said that revenge porn is one of the most important pieces of legislation for women, in particular for young women,” Smith said. “This is the new generation’s way to assault people and bully people.”

The evolution of the smartphone over the past decade has brought instant messaging and photo sharing devices into the hands of nearly every American teen. A 2017 study by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 89 percent of teens between 13 and 17 have access to a smartphone.


Snapchat, an app that allows users to take photos and videos that expire after 1 to 10 seconds or after closing out of the image, is the second most popular social media platform among teens, with 26 percent reporting that they use it “almost constantly.” Another 31 percent said they use Snapchat several times a day.

Since its introduction in 2011, Snapchat use has skyrocketed. In the first quarter of 2017, Snapchat users were sending more than 3 billion snaps every day.

Young people use smartphones to document nearly everything. It’s incredibly easy to keep track of what other people are doing, where they are and who they’re with, using social media.

But the ease with which people can capture and share photos and videos has ramifications. Issues of privacy, the permanence of digital data and the impossibility of tracking where and how it is used make it all too easy for images and information to be used as weapons. And in Montana, sharing intimate photos of people or filming them without their consent remains basically legal.

When Jennaway later confronted Koelzer about the videos, she said he didn’t seem remorseful, which upset her more.… Read the rest

Revenge porn site leaves trail of innocent victims

Lisa M. can’t walk around her hometown without wondering who has seen her naked.

The 28-year-old from Gardner, Mass., was only 17 when her then-boyfriend snapped a couple of topless photos of her when she wasn’t looking. She loved him, trusted him and had no idea he even owned a camera. Years later, the pictures would surface online and spread all over her tiny hometown.

“To see those online was just like a total betrayal of trust, and on top of that, there’s nothing you can do about it — it’s just there, and you can’t take it down, and you don’t know who’s seen it,” she said.

The pictures had been posted to the Web site “Anon-IB,” a k a Anonymous Image Board, one of the world’s main online promoters of revenge porn — intimate photos that are uploaded typically by a former sex partner and without the subject’s consent.

Anon-IB is where naked pictures of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence surfaced in 2014 and where dozens of male Marines posted illicit photos of female comrades earlier this year. And it’s the site where thousands of other women — including underage girls — are exploited daily for twisted reasons ranging from perversion to revenge to financial gain.

Nearly 40 US states have battled the odds to enact laws to combat revenge porn.

New York has yet to join them.

“There just simply isn’t the interest or passion about New Yorkers’ sexual privacy and dignity,’’ Brooklyn lawyer Carrie Goldberg lamented. “The majority of the country cares. New York doesn’t.”

Anon- IB at first appears to be a typical porn clearinghouse with the usual complement of categories: “lesbian,” “milf,” “ebony.” But a closer look reveals other headings, such as “drunk/passed out” and “peeping toms” — and features nude images of sleeping women and “upskirt” pictures of others taken in dressing rooms or bathrooms.

Some of the postings even appear to involve possible molestation and rape.

Recently, the top of the site boasted a collage of young women with their breasts exposed. They easily looked preteen, even though such a posting would be a crime.

There are links for each US state, as well as 22 countries, and site users can post requests for nude pictures of women — from specific towns, colleges and high schools.

They ask for certain graduating classes and often provide the names of women, even if it’s against the rules of the site.

Anon-IB has a special four-letter word for photos that are scored — “wins.’’

“Anyone got any wins of . . .” a typical post reads, followed by ellipses and then typically a high school and graduating class or a specific name from either.

The users often trade “wins,’’ offering photos they’ve found in exchange for the ones they’re seeking.

New York cybercrime expert Philip Rosenthal said such sites are able to operate in virtual anonymity because of the murky way they are set up.

“Think of it as a stage with 50 levels of curtains, and every time you draw back one curtain, you gotta go run around and search for the string to pull back the next curtain,” said Rosenthal, who has worked with everyone from the FBI to US Secret Service to root out cybercrime.

Kateri Gasper of the Queens District Attorney’s Computer Crimes Unit would tell The Post only that Anon-IB is owned by a company in Panama.

‘People I barely knew or people I thought were friends would come up to me and chat me up about my body and say things like, “I saw you naked.”‘

The warped Web site has proven to be a moneymaker. Anon-IB gets close to 50,000 unique visitors per day and nearly 170,000 page views daily, according to Alexa, an Amazon company that monitors Web traffic. That equates to an estimated $1,500 a day in advertising revenue, giving it an estimated site value of more than $700,000.

That revenue comes mostly from ExoClick — a Barcelona-based advertising company that hosts Anon-IB’s ads. They’ve been recognized as one of the fastest growing private companies in Europe by ­Inc. 5000 Europe and they won The Business of the Year award in 2016 from the European Business Awards.

But in 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported they’re a frequent advertiser to illicit file-sharing Web sites that host pirated movies and TV shows. The Annenberg Innovation Lab at University of Southern California ranked it among the worst offenders of ad networks that display ads on illicit file-sharing sites. ExoClick did not respond to requests for comment.

Rosenthal believes Anon-IB is connected to high-level criminals with “deep pockets.” He said the law-enforcement agency that has the best chance at bringing down Anon-IB and other similar sites would be the FBI — but only “if they really wanted to,’’ and that doesn’t seem to be the case.

“If the director of the FBI’s picture showed up [on one of the sites], you bet they’d get shut down tomorrow,’’ he said.

An FBI spokesman said the agency “will decline comment.”

The victims’ tales can be heart-wrenching.

Imogen R. from Sheffield, England, was 16 when she decided to send a nude picture of herself to her boyfriend, who was in a band and traveled often.

She sent the photos to her beau and never thought much about it until five years later, when an old friend from high school called her out the blue and said he needed to talk with her.

Screenshots of user comments from a revenge porn website talking about victim Imogen.

“He said he’d been on [Anon-IB] and seen some naked pictures of me, and I felt really sick, and I was just in shock,” said Imogen, who is now 24 and living in London. “I . . . went straight on the Web site and saw these pictures, and I knew exactly when I took them . . . Straight away, I knew it was my ex-boyfriend.”

Soon, the photos were being sent to her friends and former classmates.

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City council takes aim at revenge porn

The City Council is poised to criminalize “revenge porn” locally following years of inaction by state lawmakers — who have let a similar bill languish in Albany since 2014.

Under a proposal by Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens), anyone who posts someone’s “intimate image” without permission could be sent to jail for a year and slapped with a $1,000 fine.

The legislation would also expose offenders to civil penalties — including “compensatory and punitive damages” — even without a criminal conviction.

Lancman’s bill — which has the support of Mayor de Blasio — is being “primed” for a vote by the Public Safety Committee, his office said Friday.

Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) introduced similar legislation in Albany three years ago, but it has yet to win the support of the Codes Committee.

“There’s people who blame the victim for taking the pictures or allowing that significant other to take the pictures in the first place,” a statehouse source familiar with the matter said.

Codes Committee Chairman Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) called Braunstein’s bill “so damaging to free speech that it’s unconstitutional.”

“It needs to be narrowly drawn enough to be limited to harassing or stalking or threatening or causing them serious harm . . . without burdening protected speech.”

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