SIMI VALLEY (CBSLA.com) – A 25-year-old man was arrested last week in Simi Valley on accusations he sent naked photos of his ex-girlfriend to her family, friends and coworkers and used the photos to extort her for sexual favors.

Yair Guadalupe Velasquez was taken into custody Feb. 4 by Simi Valley police on counts of extortion and revenge porn.

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Police say about a year ago, Velasquez emailed a naked photo of the victim to her former co-workers. At the time, Velasquez had been in an on-again-off-again relationship with the victim for a few years. He used the first photo to exhorted her for sexual favors, threatening to send out more if she did not comply.

According to police, during the month of January the victim refused his demand, and Velasquez then sent a second naked photo to her friends and family. That prompted his arrest.

Attorney and former sex crimes prosecutor Robin Sax says revenge porn is notoriously tough to remove from cyberspace, causing shame and embarrassment for years.

“Revenge porn wreaks havoc on a victim’s life,” Sax said.

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California law only made revenge porn illegal in 2013. Sax says the law is slowly improving at holding perpetrators responsible.

“Even though it feels like it’s a misdemeanor, where the maximum punishment is only a year in county jail, there are ways that prosecutors can tie this together with other types of crimes,” Sax said.

Sax recommends victims who are being threatened take certain steps to protect themselves.

“As a lawyer, I would recommend for her immediately doing what she can to get a restraining order,” Sax said. “Very often, people wait and kind of think, ‘oh it will go away.’ No, you need to get a restraining order when it’s ripe. In addition, the filing of a restraining order will make it easier to get the internet companies to cooperate.”

California Rep. Jackie Spear has proposed legislation in Congress to make revenge porn a federal crime.

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Anyone with information on the Velasquez case can call police at 805-583-6971.