A U.S.-based porn website is demanding money from British women in exchange for taking down pictures of them that have been stolen, doctored, and published on the internet.
The site is demanding $50 per picture, and U.K. police are powerless because the site is not in their jurisdiction.
“We have tried to get the website taken down, or at least the postings referred to, but this has not, so far, been possible as the site is not hosted in the U.K. and is outside the U.K. jurisdiction, ” said a spokesman for the police in Sussex, England.
Oliver Whiting, 37, took dozens of innocent pictures of his female friends off of their Facebook accounts, doctored them by photoshopping their faces onto naked bodies, and posted them on the sick website, asking men to leave abusive messages.
Even his half-sister, Charley Hough, was an unsuspecting victim. Whiting posted pictures of her in her school uniform when she was just 16 and asked users of the X-rated site to post how much they’d pay to rape her.
Although Whiting posted 1,162 messages and photos over an 8-month period and had previously pleaded guilty to 11 offenses of creating offensive posts, he was not sentenced to jail but, instead, let off with a warning.
In addition, the site to which he posted the pornographic pictures refuses to take down the images, despite being told of the criminal proceedings inevitable in the U.K.
Charlotte White, one of Whiting’s victims, said, “I think it’s dreadful. He posted pictures of me urging men to rape me, get me pregnant, and rape me again until I miscarried. He did this despite knowing I had miscarried.”
“I can’t believe the pictures can still be seen by people. I think it is shocking, really. I don’t know what to say.”
When Whiting was let off with a warning instead of jail time, the conservative member of parliament (MP) for Eastbourne, Caroline Ansell, expressed “serious” concerns over the sentence and met with Sussex Police. Whiting has now been charged with 11 offenses against his half-sister and Nicki Elliot, another of his victims. However, the photos still remain online.
Nikki Elliott, 26, whose stolen picture contains her and her two-year-old daughter, said after the case, “Anyone can still go online and see it. It makes me feel sick to think about it.”
“I can’t believe the website is demanding money to take down these pictures. It freaks me out to know the pictures are still there and there are people out there who can still see them.”
Ansell said, “It’s absolutely appalling these pictures remain online because it is so devastating for victims and an outrage to justice.”
“There’s something very wrong when this is allowed to happen and I will be speaking to the relevant minister again to find out what more pressure can be brought by the government with the Americans to get these pictures taken down.”
“My view is, the law needs to be changed to force perpetrators, like Whiting, to take down revenge porn images or face new charges and serious financial penalties if they fail to so do. We must get tough on dealing with this growing problem because having these images posted ruins lives for years and is plain wicked.”
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