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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Blac Chyna & Rob Kardashian Revenge Porn Case — Mediation Set For Naked Pics Rant

Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian are slated to face off next week in their bitter revenge porn drama, RadarOnline.com exclusively learned.

Kardashian, 30, posted a series of naked photos and videos of his baby mama to social media on July 5, and after obtaining a temporary restraining order against him, Chyna, 29, hired legal ace Lisa Bloom to fight for her rights and make her baby daddy pay for his crude posts.

“Chyna and Rob have a mediation date set for next Tuesday,” an insider spilled to Radar. “She is trying to make him pay for posting those naked pictures and videos of her. She is not going to settle for a couple of thousand dollars either. She wants millions.”

PHOTOS: Blac Chyna Claims Ex Rob Kardashian ‘Is Mentally Ill’ Following Shocking Split

“Chyna lost serious money after Rob posted those things. And she wants Rob to make sure that he compensates her for her financial hits. She lost hosting gigs, she lost endorsements, a lot of financial deals feel through after he did that to her.”

Chyna’s plan to hit Kardashian where it hurts, the wallet, was exposed when Radar learned that she was threatening a lawsuit against him.

“Chyna is not afraid of Rob and she wants him to fork over major cash after his offensive and illegal actions,” the source revealed. “Getting a custody settlement about Dream was just step one. Her next action is to make Rob pay.”

The couple had zero contact with each other directly after a judge forbid Kardashian from contacting his baby mama, but the source said he was desperate to reconnect.

PHOTOS: Rob Kardashian’s Breakdown Exposed After Blac Chyna Packs Up Nursery, Moves Away With Dream

“Rob and Chyna both need to be available during the mediation,” the source said. “He wants to see her so badly in person.”

But Chyna didn’t feel the same way. “She wants nothing to do with Rob,” the source insisted. “She wants him to pay for what he did, but she doesn’t want to see him.”


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Prosecutor Accused of ‘Revenge Porn’ Attack on Biker Gang Member

A defendant in the Waco biker shooting has filed a motion claiming prosecutors distributed “revenge porn” against him and his wife.

On Thursday, Houston defense lawyer Paul Looney, known for hosting press conferences with a lit cigar suspended from his lips and a Lone Star bolo-tie affixed to his white shirt, announced a motion to remove the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office from the case of former biker Cody Ledbetter. Looney is asking that a special prosecutor be appointed to the case.

In front of the scenic Waco courthouse Looney accused the district attorney’s office of “gratuitously, tortuously, and criminally” attaching photos and videos of Ledbetter and his wife having sex to the discovery process, which was then distributed to all 155 defendants in the massive shooting case.

Ledbetter is one of 177 people who were arrested on May, 17, 2015, after the melee at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, that left nine men dead and 20 more injured when the Cossacks and Bandidos motorcycle clubs reportedly began shooting one another, triggering police intervention.

A staggering 155 bikers were indicted on charges of organized criminal activity in one of the largest mass arrests in a single criminal incident in U.S. history.

Early police descriptions of the crime scene painted a chaotic picture of blood and weapons amid half-eaten burgers and half-drunk margaritas. Bodies in Cossacks and Bandidos gear lay strewn between bikes. Guns were thrown in bags of tortilla chips, trash cans, and toilets.

None of the defendants in the case have yet gone to trial, but this week a defense attorney for Dallas Bandidos leader Christopher Carrizal claimed that his case will be tried next week “come hell or high water,” according to KWTX-TV. Like many of the bikers arrested that day, Carrizal’s trial date has been in flux for more than a year.

Looney said in a press release that Ledbetter had private (“nothing kinky”) videos and photos of himself and his wife on his phone, which was confiscated by police that day.

“These private images, intended to be seen only by Ledbetter and his wife, have been made available to hundreds, if not thousands of people, including other defendants, their attorneys, the staff of those attorneys’ law firms and/or investigators,” he continued. “The district attorney and his assistants have committed numerous crimes against Mr. Ledbetter and his wife by knowingly revealing these intimate images on his telephone without any legal excuse.”

The 28-year-old’s trial is currently set for Jan. 9, 2018. Ledbetter was a member of the Cossacks motorcycle club and witnessed his stepfather, Daniel Boyett, die of gunshot wounds during the May 2015 shooting.

“In this case, prejudice is plain,” Looney wrote in the motion. “[District Attorney Abel] Reyna and numerous others prosecutors in his office have victimized Mr. Ledbetter and his wife.

“They have shown no respect for his rights, and cannot justly prosecute their own victim,” he added, claiming that Reyna’s office violated the Ledbetters’ rights and committed a crime by distributing the images without their consent.

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“I saw more porn than I’ve ever seen in my life,” Dallas lawyer Clint Broden told The Daily Beast, of the four terabytes of information. Broden represents another biker and defendant in the shooting, Matthew Clendennen.

“Some of it was homemade porn and some of it was from the internet,” Broden said. “It’s totally ridiculous—they knew this was on the discovery. It couldn’t have been an accident.”

He added, “They put it out to embarrass people.”

Prosecutors were also reportedly forced last year to recall a portion of the evidence that was sent out to defense attorneys because there was child pornography on the phone of at least one of the defendants.

Reyna did not return requests for comment left on Friday by The Daily Beast.

“The state has been claiming a ‘duty to disclose’ that never applied to these images, and that is simply an outrage,” Clay Conrad, Looney’s law partner, said in a statement. “They have a duty to disclose relevant information, but they also have a duty not to disclose private sexual images having absolutely nothing to do with the current case.”

The 155 trials—in which all of the defendants are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity—have been routinely pushed back over more than two years as the county struggles to cope with the financial burden of the investigation and defense attorneys file motions to remove judges and the district attorney’s office.

Broden said he filed a motion to remove Reyna in August 2016 over recorded attorney-client jail calls circulated in the discovery, but that motion was denied by Judge Matt Johnson, who recused himself last week from Clendennen’s case. Another out-of-town judge has since been assigned to it.

“It is a circus, and the wheels are falling off the bus,” said Broden. Clendennen’s trial is currently set for Nov. 6.

In May, The Daily Beast reported that four of the accused bikers filed a suit against the city, law enforcement, and Twin Peaks restaurant for violating their civil rights and slandering their reputations. The lawsuit, with flare, demanded $1 billion and compared the shooting to poison gas attacks in Syria.

Beaumont defense attorney Brent Coon—who represents Jim Albert Harris, Bonar Crump Jr., Drew King, and Juan Carlos Garcia—said in a press release at the time that the aftermath of the shooting was the “worst police operation initiated by law enforcement in the history of Texas.”

Eventually, Coon claimed, Waco’s handling of the shooting “will be shown to be one of the biggest blunders and cover-ups by any law enforcement agency in the country,” and the city will be proven to be “another Salem, Massachusetts in a witch hunt for bikers.”

Broden said Friday he was not aware of any other attempts to remove Reyna from the Twin Peaks cases, but he added: “My guess is there’ll be more to come.”

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Why Every Parent Needs to Know About Sextortion

“Sextortion” is the fastest growing crime against children on the Internet, according to the FBI. But no official records are kept, and only five states have made sextortion, where a perpetrator threatens victims with releasing explicit images unless they perform pornography on demand, a standalone crime.

Prosecutors say if we don’t start actively telling kids—with some victims as young as seven years old—that sextortion could happen to anyone (even those who have never shared a single intimate image), the problem is only going to get worse.

Although the FBI does not yet officially track instances of sextortion, the currently available data indicates that the problem is expanding. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children founda 150 percent rise in reports of sextortion to its CyberTipline between 2014 and 2016.

The stories are horrifying. A little girl who is threatened that her dog will be killed if she doesn’t send a naked picture. Forced sibling sex, involving 7- and 8-year-olds, along with bestiality. The 12-year-old girl who got a computer for Christmas then fell into a conversation with a predator who told her he was remotely controlling the device and could explode it like a bomb if she did not take her top off.

“Sextortion is definitely on the rise, particularly targeting young women,” warned Mona Sedky, a senior trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, who has spent the last six years prosecuting victims of sextortion. “I had a case very recently, where the defendant sextorted dozens and dozens of young women all over the country. One brave young woman, after being sextorted for weeks and weeks, finally confided in her friend. If it hadn’t been for that one brave victim to finally come forward, the defendant would still be at large today victimizing other young women.”

This week, Ashton Kutcher’s child advocacy non-profit Thorn launched a public awareness campaign at stopsexstortion.com (victims can also get immediate help by texting “thorn” to 741741) and coordinated messaging from Facebook, Twitter and celebrities like Pretty Little Liars’ Shay Mitchell, who shot a PSA, and Cindy McCain, who tweeted, “If #sextortion happens to you, there is #NoShame in asking for help, I’m here to listen.”

A major part of the problem is that it is so uncomfortable for minors to tell anyone when they are being sexually blackmailed, which is what makes sextortion so insidious, and sometimes fatal. In Utah, a 21-year-old man a month away from graduation killed himself in 2015 rather than tell his mother the details of what happened to him.

“For the first time in the history of the world you can sexually assault somebody who’s not on the same continent as you—and by the way, you can do it to 50 people,” said senior fellow Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution, who conducted the 2016 groundbreaking study on the widespread “virtual sexual assault” that is the sextortion phenomenon. The scalability of crimes and the sadistic pathology of the perpetrators are part of what it makes sextortion so ominous. Criminals keep intricate logs, refer to what they do as “slaving,” and get off on the humiliation of providing deadlines and routines to perform demeaning sexual acts on cue.

“A huge amount of it is exercising control over people in particularly brutal and sustained fashion,” Wittes said.

States without sexual blackmail laws can use federal child pornography statutes to get justice for victims, but in some states, the extortion laws are restricted to just money or property, not forced sexual conduct. Many cases are being handled at the federal level.

Attorney Carrie Goldberg is one of the lawyers who is leading the fight. Threatened with revenge porn herself when she was younger, she contributed to the Brookings Institution study and wrote a piece about how perpetrators lure in their victims. In her work, she has removed more than 17,000 nonconsensual pornographic images and videos from the Internet, and a significant number of these were created by victims of sextortion.

“Sexual extortionists are vicious and frighteningly patient perverts who essentially turn their targets into sex slaves by deceiving them over months on social media through fake profiles and gaining their victims’ trust before requesting nudes or images,” Goldberg said. “When a target gives in — often after a lot of guilt and pestering from the offender — they are then blackmailed and the campaign of horror deepens. Victims are made to do shocking and degrading acts on camera for the perv’s enjoyment. Like all sex crimes, this is about control through fear and degradation.”

One of the most recent high-profile cases yet, which was prosecuted by Sedky, involved Michael Ford, a State Department employee who was working in London, where he spent two years hacking into online accounts and stealing photographs, then threatening about 75 women to provide pornographic materials—or else.

Ford made it appear that he was right outside his windows, likely by using Google Earth, to identify their apartments and relate details. His threats to women included specifics like, “I like your red fire escape. Easy to climb.” One woman fell asleep every night with a knife under her pillow. He was sentenced to 57 months.

The FBI does not keep official tracking records for sextortion yet (one of the problems which advocates say needs to change), but Wittes’ study last year identified 80 cases, involving more than 3,000 victims, and he says it’s the tip of the iceberg.

“We’ve only scratched the surface,” he said. “The community of victims is enormous, and yet they’re not in touch with each other. There’s no organization that represents them. Nobody identifies them because they’re not trying to re-victimize people. But it produces this asymmetry in that everybody is aware of the problem of revenge porn, and most people are not aware of the problem of sextortion.”

Part of the problem is the silence on the topic in schools and amongst parents, which predators then exploit, turning their victimization into something so big in a child’s mind that they could never dare tell another soul.… Read the rest

Teen ‘sextortion’ cases unfolding throughout Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. Justice Department has called it “by far the most significantly growing threat to children.”

And based on recent investigations, the issue of “sextortion” isn’t slowing down, including in Utah.

Sextortion is a form of online blackmail, typically targeting teenagers or preteens.

The average sextortion case starts with children who are 12 to 14 years old who are using social media and other apps to message others who they assume are also juveniles, said Steve Cagen, head of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations in Utah and three other states. Eventually, the other “juvenile” will gain the teen’s trust and request a nude photo.

“But they’re talking to a 40-year-old or 50-year-old man, who once they have one photo will then extort them for more. It’s called sextortion. It’s happening a lot. And we are asking parents to talk to your kids, because it can happen in every neighborhood,” he said.

The emotional destruction a child suffers after being guilted into sending photos or videos out of fear of being exposed is gut-wrenching for even the most hardened of investigators.

“It is difficult when we have to look in the faces of children who have been exploited, who will never be the same again,” Cagen said.

Often, the crime leaves child victims with severe depression and thoughts of suicide, according to the Justice Department.

“Sextortion is brutal. This is not a matter of playful consensual sexting,” according to the Brookings Institution, a public policy organization that conducts research it hopes will help lead to solving societal problems. “Sextortion, rather, is a form of sexual exploitation, coercion and violence, often but not always of children. In many cases, the perpetrators seem to take pleasure in their victims’ pleading and protestations that they are scared and underage.

“In multiple cases we have reviewed, victims contemplate, threaten or even attempt suicide — sometimes to the apparent pleasure of their tormentors.”

Sextortion in Utah

Earlier this year, the Deseret News examined with local police and school officials the exploding problem of nude selfies being exchanged among Utah’s high school students. The issue has become so prevalent that many teens have accepted it as normal. It’s what our generation does, they say. Law enforcers and school administrators warned, however, that teens freely sending nude photos could also open themselves up to the possibility of extortion.

Those fears have been realized.

The Deseret News has uncovered several investigations through search warrants filed throughout the state over the past few months by law enforcement agencies of possible sextortion incidents. Many of these investigations are still ongoing. Some examples:

• In Uintah County last month, the sheriff’s office was asked to investigate a 17-year-old boy who was allegedly being blackmailed by a woman.

“It was reported that (the boy) had recently accepted a friend request from “Angella Scotty” who (the boy) did not know. (The boy) at some point had been communicating with “Angella” via Facebook video and admitted that he had been naked in the video chat at some point,” the warrant states. Angella then demanded $500 or she would post the video online, according to a warrant.

• Also last month, West Valley police were called to investigate a complaint from a 17-year-old girl who reported “being exposed to the world.” The girl said someone she knew “had shared nude photographs and videos of her” on Facebook and Snapchat, a warrant states.

The girl told detectives the videos were taken in 2014 when she was 14 and intoxicated. Those videos were later shared with at least two other people.

• In Millard County last month, a 13-year-old girl told police she had “sent hundreds of naked pictures of herself to other male juveniles” and has “received many pictures of naked males ranging in age from 12 years old to 17 years old. She has been asked for naked pictures of herself from all the males.”

• In yet another case in August, Salt Lake police were asked to investigate a girl who was receiving messages on Facebook and Instagram from an unknown person demanding nude photos “or he will publicly post a nude photo he already has of her,” a warrant states. The harassment continued as the person “repeatedly demanded more nude photos, and if she does not comply will post that nude photo of her on social media.” The girl told investigators she gave a nude photo to an ex-boyfriend a few years earlier, but didn’t know how someone else would have gotten it.

• In Mt. Pleasant, Sanpete County, in July, a 17-year-old boy told police he had accepted a friend request on Facebook from an uknown woman claiming to be from California. One day, the woman requested a video chat with the boy.

“When (the boy) opened the video chat, he found the woman naked on her bed,” a warrant states. The woman convinced the boy to also take his clothes off.

“The woman told him she recorded the video and that he needed to pay her $3,000 or she was going to send the video to YouTube and all his friends on his Facebook list.”

• In June, St. George police investigated a case of a high school girl who started getting requests on Instagram for nude photos.

“(The girl) didn’t know who the person was but he kept telling her that he had other sexually explicit pictures of her. (She) admitted to having sent pictures of herself to other boys two years prior to this event. (She) said it was these photos that she was being blackmailed with,” a warrant states.

The person later told her that “if she blocked this message he would send out photos of her to everyone at the school.”

• Also in St. George in May, police were called to investigate the case of a 13-year-old girl who met a male on an app. The two continued to talk via Skype. The male, who used the name “Demon Paradox,” never turned his video chat on, but convinced the young girl to take her clothes off, the warrant states.

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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.

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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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