Alleged revenge porn site operator to face trial in first US criminal case of its kind

A judge in San Diego, California has determined that prosecutors have enough evidence against an alleged revenge porn site operator for him to face trial on conspiracy, identity theft and extortion charges.

A rep for California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris tells Boing Boing, "Yesterday, the preliminary hearing wrapped up in our case against a revenge porn website operator and the defendant was bound over for trial on all counts. This is the first time a website operator will face criminal charges relating to revenge porn."

"The preliminary hearing took longer than usual as the judge requested additional presentation of evidence and legal argument from our lawyers as this is a new and novel case."

Arraignment is set for July 16, 2014.

Here's the original press release from the California Department of Justice. Here's coverage in AP, Ars, and the San Diego Union-Tribune.

From the Associated Press item:

Kevin Christopher Bollaert, 27, appeared before San Diego County Superior Court Judge David M. Gill on Monday and returns to court July 16 for what's being heralded as the first case against a revenge porn site operator, said Nicholas Pacilio, a spokesman for California Attorney General Kamala Harris. Bollaert has pleaded not guilty to 31 felony counts.

His attorney Alexander Landon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Authorities say the Bollaert earned tens of thousands dollars operating two websites for the scheme.

Prosecutors say at one site, people uploaded nude pictures without permission of those photographed and listed their names, cities and links to their Facebook profiles. When asked to remove photos, Bollaert allegedly contacted victims from a separate website and charged them up to $350. Bollaert voluntarily took the sites both offline when contacted by investigators last year, Pacilio said.

Previously on Boing Boing:

• ""Revenge porn" scammer boasts no-one will sue him"
• "Ugotarrested: Man charged with operating revenge porn site Ugotposted.com"
• "Man charged with running revenge porn site 'WinByState' and extortion operation arrested in Oklahoma"