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Accused ‘revenge porn’ site operator in San Diego due in court

SAN DIEGO — A 27-year-old man accused of operating a “revenge porn” website, on which sexually explicit photos of women were posted by angry former boyfriends or ex-husbands, is due to be arraigned in court Wednesday on 31 felony counts.

Prosecutors say Kevin Christopher Bollaert, who was arrested Tuesday by California Department of Justice agents, demanded up to $350 from women who wanted their images removed from the site.

He was initially held at San Diego Central Jail on $50,000 bail, but online court records Wednesday showed he was no longer in custody.

Prosecutors say Bollaert created a website in December 2012 that allowed the anonymous posting of nude and sexually explicit photos. The website required that a person posting a picture include the subject’s name, location, age and Facebook profile.

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

According to court documents, Bollaert created a second website that he used to contact people whose images were in the photos. He then offered to remove the photos for $299.99 to $350, authorities said.

Bollaert told investigators that he receives hundreds of emails daily from women asking that their images be removed, according to court documents.

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.

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“This website is an absolute disgrace,” emailed one woman. “It makes me sick you run this as your little family business.”

Another woman, from Santa Monica, 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.’”

Bollaert’s PayPal account indicates that he received tens of thousands of dollars from people seeking to have their pictures taken down, according to prosecutors.

He faces 31 felony counts of conspiracy, identity theft and extortion for what Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris called “this reprehensible and illegal Internet activity.”

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A new California law makes it a misdemeanor to take and post pictures of a sexual nature on the Internet with intent to harass the subject. The case filed in San Diego County Superior Court alleges violations of existing felony statutes.

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tony.perry@latimes.com

Twitter: @LATsandiego


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