LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com)  — California Attorney General Kamala Harris Friday announced that a man convicted of cyber-exploitation was given a nearly 20-year prison sentence.

Kevin Christopher Bollaert, the operator of a cyber-exploitation website that posted nude photos of individuals along with personal identifying information without their consent, was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Harris said this was the first such criminal prosecution of a cyber-exploitation website operator in the nation.

“Today’s sentence makes clear there will be severe consequences for those that profit from the exploitation of victims online,” said Harris. “Sitting behind a computer, committing what is essentially a cowardly and criminal act will not shield predators from the law or jail. We will continue to be vigilant and investigate and prosecute those who commit these deplorable acts.”

In February 2014, Bollaert, 27, of San Diego, was found guilty on six counts of extortion and 21 counts of identity theft.

An investigation conducted by Harris and the Department of Justice found that from December 2012 to approximately September 2013, Bollaert created and operated the website ugotposted.com, which allowed the public to anonymously post private photographs containing nude and explicit images of individuals without their permission.

RELATED LINK: Revenge-Porn Website Operator Convicted Under New California Law

Commonly known as “revenge porn,” the photos are typically obtained consensually by the poster during a prior relationship or are stolen or hacked. Unlike many other revenge porn websites where the subject of the photos is anonymous, ugotposted.com required that the poster include the subject’s full name, location, age and Facebook profile link. As a result, Harris said the victims experienced severe harassment through social media, at their places of work and in other communities.

Kevin Christopher Bollaert is sentenced to 18 years in prison for cyber-exploitation. (ctedit: CBS8.com/San Diego)

Kevin Christopher Bollaert is sentenced to 18 years in prison for cyber-exploitation. (ctedit: CBS8.com/San Diego)

Bollaert created a second website, changemyreputation.com, in October 2012, which he used when individuals contacted ugotposted.com requesting that content be removed from the site. Bollaert would extort victims by replying with a changemyreputation.com email address and offering to remove the content for a fee ranging from $250 to $350, which could be paid using an online PayPal account referenced in the emails. Bollaert told investigators that he made around $900 per month from advertising on the site and records obtained from his changemyreputation.com PayPal account indicate that he received payments totaling approximately $30,000.

Bollaert’s arrest stemmed from a six-month investigation by the Harris’ eCrime unit. Harris created the eCrime Unit in 2011 to identify and prosecute identity theft crimes, cyber-crimes and other crimes involving the use of technology.

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