Using nude photos to extort sex lands man behind bars

'DESPICABLE AND DISGUSTING:' PROSECUTOR

By Charlotte Helston

A 19-year-old Vernon man will spend five months in jail for threatening to post nude photos of his ex-girlfriend on Facebook unless she agreed to perform sexual favours for him.

Judge Mark Takahashi found the accused guilty of unlawfully confining and assaulting the girl. The man's trial revealed he extorted sexual favours from the girl, who initially thought he would delete the photos if she gave him what he wanted. It became clear to her she couldn't trust her ex's promises, and reported the situation to the police. She suffered no lasting physical injuries.

The accused cannot be named to protect the victim's identity. The woman was 16 at the time of the incident, which occurred last summer, and the accused was 18.

Defense lawyer Julian Vanderwalle said the incident was out of character for the young man. He said the accused had pressures beyond what's normal for a teenager, including caring for—even bathing—his mother who suffers a variety of medical conditions. Vanderwalle recommended a 12 month conditional sentence—served at home—and a lengthy probation.

Crown lawyer Cristina Cabulea, on the other hand, was looking for jail time," Takahashi said. "The way the gentleman had the girl come to his residence was despicable and distressing."

He said he needed to deter anyone with similar ideas, noting it's becoming more common.

"This requires real jail time and would not be properly served by a conditional sentence order," Takahashi said.

The man was hand-cuffed and escorted from the courtroom by sheriffs. His mother couldn't watch as her son and caregiver was taken away. She cried onto the shoulder of a friend. Vanderwalle said he is considering appealing.

The terms of the accused's probation will restrict him from having any form of contact with the victim once he is released from prison.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca or call (250)309-5230


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