'Revenge porn' operator gets 18 years in prison

Story highlights

  • Kevin Bollaert was convicted of 27 felonies for operating a "revenge porn" website
  • Users submitted personal information about the subjects of explicit photographs
  • On another site, he charged people up to $350 to take down photos

(CNN)The owner of a now-offline "revenge porn" website based in California was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison, the San Diego office of the state's attorney general said.

Kevin Christopher Bollaert, 27, had been found guilty in February of six counts of extortion and 21 counts of identity theft. He faced a maximum of 23 years in prison.
Prosecutors said Bollaert created a website that allowed people to post explicit images of people without their permission. The site also posted personal information of the people in the pictures without their consent, Attorney General Kamala Harris said.
    The sexually explicit material, primarily of women, was routinely posted by angry former boyfriends and ex-husbands, authorities said. It contained their real names and links to their Facebook profiles.
    Bollaert created a second website that solicited payments of $250 to $350 from people who wanted to have the photographs deleted. Bollaert made about $30,000 on that site, the attorney general's office said.
    "Sitting behind a computer, committing what is essentially a cowardly and criminal act will not shield predators from the law or jail." Harris said. "We will continue to be vigilant and investigate and prosecute those who commit these deplorable acts."
    CNN affiliate KFMB reported that Bollaert's father apologized to the victims during Friday's hearing, saying "how sorry we are here today because of a shameful, stupid, inappropriate thing my son did. My heart goes out to all of you."
    The station also reported his defense attorney admitted her client made moral transgressions but wasn't legally responsible for the 10,170 photos submitted in the year the websites operated.