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MN judge cracks down on ex-boyfriend’s ‘revenge porn’ case

Michael Weigel’s former partner woke up last December to a stunning email from her ex.

“You will never live in peace. You will live in shame and embarrassment for the rest of your life,” the email said, according to the excerpt the woman read in Ramsey County District Court on Tuesday.

Ramsey County sheriff’s office

Michael Weigel, 39

It went on to detail how Weigel had plastered naked pictures of her that the two took while they were still a couple on her new boyfriend’s Facebook page. The photos were attached in the email.

“I wanted to crawl into a hole and disappear,” the woman recounted for the court.

She spent weeks crying and panicking as she tried to navigate Facebook’s process for getting the photos removed.

She had to show the images to police officers so that criminal charges could be pursued. She worried the public exposure might cost her her job. Her new boyfriend’s family and friends, some of whom she hadn’t yet met, now had images of her naked body in their minds, she said.

“I will worry about these images for the rest of my life and live with the shame and embarrassment the rest of my life,” she said.

In that sense, Weigel got what he wanted, the woman said.

The 39-year-old Anoka man was the first person charged in Ramsey County under a new state law that took effect during the summer of 2016 that seeks to hold people accountable for so called “revenge porn.”

As such, his ex asked Ramsey County District Judge Stephen Smith to set a precedent with Weigel’s case — ignoring his request to avoid further jail time by sentencing him in accordance with the law.

Smith ultimately did.

He sentenced Weigel to about four months in jail and three years of supervised probation on one count of felony-level nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images.

Two additional counts of the same charge were dismissed.

His attorney, public defender John Reimer, said he believed Weigel was the first person sentenced under the new statute.

Weigel, who pleaded guilty to the charge in August, addressed the judge before receiving his sentence.

He said he relapsed on alcohol and had fallen into a deep depression after his relationship ended.

“I want to start by saying I am incredibly sorry. I have been through breakups before … but never in my life did I fall into the path that I fell into this time,” Weigel said. “I messed up. I messed up so bad and it affected so many people.”

He went on to call his former partner the “love of his life” and said he never meant to hurt her.

He added that he put himself through treatment and therapy and found a new job since he was charged.

The judge said he “appreciated” the actions Weigel has taken to turn his life around but said they couldn’t undo the impact he has had on his ex.

He also questioned Weigel’s statement that he hadn’t meant to cause harm.

“I have a hard time seeing it any other way,” Smith said.

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Anoka Man Gets 4 Months in Revenge Porn Case

Weigel was sentenced Tuesday to 120 days in the Ramsey County Correctional Facility with credit for 56 days served. If he’s deemed eligible, he could serve the sentence as work release. Weigel was also placed on three years’ probation.

According to the criminal complaint, Weigel allegedly created the fake account in December of last year and sent friend requests to all the boyfriend’s Facebook friends – a group which included many of his ex’s family and friends.

The page also allegedly contained multiple written criticisms of the two, including blaming the boyfriend for breaking up Weigel and his ex’s relationship. He also allegedly posted a message naming his ex’s place of employment, and reportedly stated she was not suitable to work there.

According to the complaint, Weigel told investigators, “I wanted one chance to let everyone know what they did. I wasn’t trying to hurt anyone for monetary gain.”

In August, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Weigel was the first person charged in Ramsey County under Minnesota’s new “revenge porn” law, which took effect in August 2016. The intent of the law is to punish those who publicize private sexual images of another.

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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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