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Revenge porn site ordered to pay $385,000 to victim

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With the arrest of Is Anyone Up? founder Hunter Moore and states across the country trying to pass anti–revenge porn legislation, it seems the tide is rapidly turning in favor of victims. The latest revenge pornographers to go up against the United States legal system? Kevin Bollaert and Eric Chason, the founders of revenge porn website You Got Posted, who’ve been ordered to pay $385,000 to a woman whose sexually explicit images they posted on the site.

Identified only as “Jane Doe,” the plaintiff filed suit against Bollaert and Chason in May 2013, alleging that the photos had been taken when she was underage and were distributed without her consent. A federal district judge in Ohio granted her $150,000 each for two child pornography counts and $10,000 for one right to publicity count, as well as an extra $75,000 in punitive damages.

Although revenge pornographers in general are a scummy breed, by all accounts Bollaert and Chason seemed particularly atrocious. Bollaert required those who submitted photos to include the subjects’ contact information, including their name, address, and Facebook profile, which often led to them being harrassed online. Like Hunter Moore, Bollaert also preyed on victims who asked for their pictures to be removed by demanding they pay between $300 and $350, a scheme that, along with advertising revenue from his site, netted him an estimated $10,000 last year.

In December 2013, Bollaert was arrested and charged with 31 counts of extortion, identity theft, and conspiracy. The successful suit against Bollaert is just one of many successful lawsuits against revenge pornographers across the country. There’s also been a push for anti-revenge porn legislation in states like New York, Florida, and Georgia, which recently passed a bill criminalizing revenge porn.

While the $380,000 reward is most likely insufficient to undo the emotional damage Bollaert inflicted on Jane Doe, attorney Marc Randazza, who represented Doe in the suit, says it sends an “unambiguous” message to those who run revenge porn sites. “These sites irreparably harm their victims, and often without any criminal action against them,” he told Ars Technica. “In this case, a civil suit allowed our client to obtain justice against the people who exploited her.”

H/T Ars Technica | Photo by globalx/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)