Adelaide resident jailed for international ‘sextortion’ offences

A 25-year-old foreign national living in Adelaide has been sentenced to just over 12 months’ imprisonment for threatening a former partner and distributing intimate videos and images of her, in the first ‘revenge porn’ case prosecuted under Commonwealth laws in South Australia.

He faced the District Court of South Australia today (12 March 2021), after pleading guilty on 13 October 2020, to two offences over the sextortion.

Australian Federal Police charged the man in November 2019 after an investigation sparked by a referral from law enforcement partners overseas, where the woman was living and had sought help.

Police say some of the videos and images were taken consensually, but the man breached the woman’s trust after the relationship ended and sent some of the material to her and her current partner.

He also tried to blackmail the woman and threatened to send the intimate content to her family and post it on social media and pornographic websites.

The man told his victim that Australian police would not be able to prosecute him because he was not an Australian citizen and she was living in a different country.

When police examined mobile phones and computers owned by the man, they found four months’ worth of threatening and offensive messages from him to the woman.

He pleaded guilty to using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence, contrary to section 474.17 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth); and aggravated use of a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence involving the distribution of private sexual material, contrary to section 474.17A of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The court sentenced him to one year and 25 days’ imprisonment, and ordered him to serve two months in jail before being released on an 18-month good behaviour bond.

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