Perth man accused of 'revenge porn'

hand holding handcuffs

A 35-year-old man has been charged by the Australian Federal Police over ‘revenge porn’ offences, after he allegedly distributed intimate images of a former girlfriend without her permission.

The Byford man is accused of sending the private material to relatives of the woman and sharing some publicly on a pornography website.

The man also allegedly sent dozens of text messages to the woman in which he threatened to release more of the sexually explicit material.

Police will allege the photographs had been taken consensually, but were circulated without permission in December 2019 after the relationship broke down.

The woman, who is living overseas, complained to the AFP in December about the man’s alleged behaviour.

AFP investigators executed a search warrant at the 35-year-old’s Byford home on 22 December and seized a number of electronic devices.

The man is expected to face Perth Magistrate’s Court for the first time today (17 January) charged with:

  • one count of aggravated use of a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence, involving the transmission, publication or distribution of material of a private sexual nature, contrary to section 474.17A(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The maximum penalty for this offence is five years imprisonment.

AFP Acting Commander for Western Australia Timothy Underhill said the AFP does not tolerate any form of cyber bullying nor the non-consensual sharing of intimate images.

“There is a growing prevalence of image-based abuse and these crimes can be devastating for victims,” he said.

Acting Commander Underhill said authorities encourage anyone who falls victim to image-based abuse to report the matter to authorities.

“We also encourage people to seek help from a trusted relative, friend or professional support service – it can be a complex situation, but nothing is so bad that you cannot tell someone,” he said.

Anyone who wants help to have intimate images removed from the internet should contact the eSafety Commissioner.

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said eSafety has helped more than 2,100 victims have their intimate images removed from the internet since 2017.

“We have a 90 per cent success rate in getting intimate images down from more than 150 overseas sites,” she said.

“Image-based abuse is a growing problem and its inclusion in the Criminal Code reflects this.”

If you are the victim of image-based abuse, consider the following course of action:

  • do not send any more images or videos or give in to any other demands
  • get support from a trusted friend or family member, or professional support services
  • collect as much evidence as you can, including screenshots, URLs or any other records
  • report the matter to police   
  • if you are worried about your physical safety, call Triple Zero (000).       

For more information about image-based abuse or for help with removal of intimate content posted online, contact the eSafety Commissioner (esafety.gov.au/imagebasedabuse).

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