Revenge porn blackmailer sent to jail for targeting a dozen women, extorting $100K

Photo via Leigh Abbot/Facebook

He threatened to burn down homes and send gangs if they didn’t comply.

A 37-year-old man in Australia has been jailed for trying to extort $120,000 (USD) from women he met online by threatening to leak nude photos of them.

Using Facebook, Tinder, and Plenty of Fish, Leigh Abbot would reach out to women, gain their trust, and receive sexual images. He would then threaten to leak their photos online, send them to their workplace, or hand them to their neighbors unless he received a ransom sum from his victims. Abbot also threatened to send gangs or burn down victims’ homes if they refused, Perth Now reports.

Many gave into Abbot’s demands, sending him anywhere from $300 to $90,000 apiece. Australia’s ABC News reports that while not all of his victims were extorted via revenge porn, those who were attacked faced serious shame and distress. One victim moved and dyed her hair out of fear, another quit her job as a school teacher amid Abbot’s threats.

Before turning to extortion, Abbot previously served as a player and coach for the East Devonport Football Club in Tasmania. Abbot’s attorney, David Fort, claims that Abbot had “thrown his life away” to gambling and substance abuse, leading Abbot to extort women to pay for his addictions.

According to a psychological report introduced in court, Abbot could appear “gracious and charming,” but “underlying that facade was a person who could be cruel, malicious and fear provoking … [and] who lives by the law of the jungle.”

Abbot has been sentenced to five and a half years in jail, with the court ordering him to pay over $100,000 (USD) in compensation to his victims.

Abbot’s story opens a larger question about the rampant revenge porn problem that plagues the internet. Earlier this year, 30,000 U.S. Marines were caught using Facebook and gay porn sites to share explicit images of fellow service members without permission. The issue began an ongoing conversation about non-consensual image sharing and the role that revenge porn plays in a military environment.

H/T ABC News

Ana Valens

Ana Valens

Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.