L.A. Now

'Revenge porn' website operator sentenced to 18 years

Women tell judge revenge porn site left them scared, afraid to go out in public

A 28-year-old San Diego man was sentenced Friday to 18 years in custody after being convicted of operating a "revenge porn" website that included naked and sexually explicit pictures of women posted by angry ex-boyfriends or ex-husbands.

Kevin Christopher Bollaert, a Web developer, posted the pictures and then charged women from $300 to $350 to have the pictures removed. He was convicted in February of multiple felony counts of identity theft and extortion.

Bollaert was ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution to his victims and a $10,000 fine. Bollaert will be allowed to serve the sentence in a county jail rather than state prison under the judge's ruling.

Eight women told Superior Court Judge David Gill how they were victimized by having the pictures appear on the website.

One woman said she received 400 messages on social media after the pictures were shown. She said she was forced to quit college and seek help in a mental hospital.

"It's been so traumatic," she said. "It's a daily struggle to get my life together."

Bollaert did not speak before sentencing, but his parents told Gill that their son was remorseful.

"Sitting behind a computer, committing what is essentially a cowardly and criminal act, will not shield predators from the law or jail," said state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, whose office handled the prosecution.

The state's revenge porn law, a misdemeanor, became effective Oct. 1, 2013, after the conduct for which Bollaert was charged.

Prosecutors said that Bollaert created a website that allowed the anonymous posting of nude and sexually explicit photos. The website required that a person posting a picture to include the subject's name, location, age and Facebook profile.

Prosecutors said more than 10,000 images from California and other states were posted between Dec. 2, 2012, and Sept. 17, 2013.

Court documents include emails to Bollaert's website from women demanding that pictures of them be removed. In the emails, the women say that posting of the pictures left them angry, scared and feeling violated.

One woman emailed that after the pictures were posted along with her name and other personal information, she received phone calls, lewd photos and numerous emails from people "asking to 'hook up.'"

Special correspondent Neal Putnam assisted with this story.

Twitter: @LATsandiego

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