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    Hunter Moore Revenge Porn Victim Got a Whopping $145.70 in Restitution

    Written by

    Sarah Jeong

    Contributing Editor

    On Wednesday, revenge porn site operator Hunter Moore was sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison. He will also be paying a $2,000 fine, and on top of that, a bizarrely specific $145.70 in restitution.

    $145.70: the price of being a revenge porn victim.

    Charlotte Laws, the mother of one of the victims, is an anti-revenge porn activist whose work helped take down Hunter Moore. She told me she was dissatisfied with the sentence, saying, “I think it was like capturing Jack the Ripper and giving him community service.”

    The $145.70 is being paid to a single victim, identified only as L.B. Her email account was hacked in 2011 by Moore’s co-defendant, Charles Evens, who was sentenced to 25 months in prison last week. Hunter Moore paid Evens to acquire as many hacked photos as possible. These photos were published on his website, often alongside real names and contact information, all without the consent of the victims.

    Moore openly called himself a “professional life-ruiner.” In the case of L.B., he paid Evens $145.70 to do exactly that.

    Now $145.70 is going back to L.B., as restitution for Moore trying to ruin her life. It’s the only restitution that the “king of revenge porn” is going to be paying in the federal case against him.

    The thing is, the price of having revenge porn posted of you doesn’t have to be limited to what Hunter Moore paid for it. Back in April, Kevin Bollaert, another revenge porn site operator, was ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution to the victims. On top of that, he got significantly more prison time than Hunter Moore—Bollaert was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

    I talked to Carrie Goldberg, an internet privacy and sexual consent lawyer based in New York, and a board member of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, about what that restitution could have been. She said that it could have included lost income, child care, transportation, and “other expenses related to the investigation and prosecution of the offense.” (Many revenge porn victims have reported losing their jobs after nude pictures of them were posted on the internet.)

    Goldberg added that in cases of identity theft—one of the charges that Moore pled guilty to— the law would also allow for restitution “equal to the value of the time reasonably spent by the victim to deal with the harm.”

    The tiny amount of restitution has partly to do with Moore’s plea bargain. He pleaded guilty to counts 2 and 9 of the indictment (which had a total of fifteen counts)—one count under the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, and one count of aggravated identity theft. Counts 2 and 9 relate only to one victim, L.B.

    From Hunter Moore’s indictment.

    “Although there were thousands of women victimized by Moore, in all likelihood, the amount is so low because it reflects only that one victim's financial losses,” said Goldberg.

    “It is not fair that other victims, many of whom tirelessly contributed to the prosecution and suffered immeasurable financial hardship from his conduct, are excluded from restitution simply because of the narrow scope of his guilty plea," she said.

    Goldberg told me, however, that it wasn’t too late for the other victims. Under 18 USC § 3663, restitution can go to “persons other than the victim of the offense.” In her opinion, “victims who suffered loss as a result of Moore should move for an amended restitution order.”

    The full number of victims is still unknown. Although the original indictment is based on seven victims, there were doubtlessly many, many more. Charles Evens alone admitted to hacking “hundreds of accounts.”

    When federal agents first showed up at Charlotte Laws’s door, they told her that they weren’t going to take the case, because they typically only took cases where there’s a significant loss of money.

    “It’s not really about that, it’s not about financial loss, it’s about other losses,” Laws told me on the phone. “Possibly losing jobs and things like that.” But she added that at least one victim had wiped out her life savings to hire an attorney to get her photos off the website, spending up to $10,000 in legal fees.

    Laws handed the FBI a file of information—about Moore, his associates, and his victims—she had collected. “That’s when they took the case, because they realized it wasn’t just my daughter, but that there were a lot of hacked victims around the country," she said. As the FBI continued to investigate Moore, Laws kept calling them to add more victims to the case. Eventually they asked her to stop.

    “‘We have so many now, if you keep calling, we have to keep expanding our investigation,'" Laws said the bureau told her. "Because, I guess, they had a certain due diligence they had to do with each victim that was found.”

    "This man is full of hate."

    But on the other hand, Laws also says that at one point, this was the only case that the Los Angeles cybercrimes division of the FBI was handling. When reached for comment, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice wrote in an email, “It simply is not correct to say that, at any point, this was the only case being investigated by the FBI’s computer unit.”

    K. Laws, Charlotte Laws’s daughter, was the only victim who came to court to read her testimony during sentencing. (A second victim letter was read to the court by the prosecutor.)

    “My privacy was violated by Hunter Moore…a guy I did not know, a total stranger,” she said. “He called himself a ‘professional life-ruiner,’ which is exactly what he was and that's exactly what he did to me. I can't begin to express the amount of anger and pain I have built up inside of me because of this man. He completely flipped my world upside down.”

    She went on to describe how she had lost her job, lost a role in a movie, and had been humiliated in front of countless people. She talked about threats she had received, and how she and her mother had been stalked. She also said that Moore had called her a “whore” to his 600,000 Twitter followers, and that he had lied about sleeping with her.

    “There is no ounce of humanity in Hunter Moore and nor do I believe he is capable of rehabilitation,” K. Laws said in court. “This man is full of hate. I will carry the trauma of this experience with me for the rest of my life. What Hunter Moore did was 1000 times worse than anything Charlie Evens did.”

    ---

    K. Laws’s victim statement, which has not been published previously, is reproduced in full below:

    My privacy was violated by Hunter Moore… a guy I did not know, a total stranger. He called himself a “professional life-ruiner,” which is exactly what he was and that's exactly what he did to me. I can't begin to express the amount of anger and pain I have built up inside of me because of this man. He completely flipped my world upside down.

    Over three years ago, Hunter Moore paid a man named Charlie Evans to hack into my private email account to steal my photos. A few months before I was hacked, I had taken the photos alone in the mirror in my bedroom. These photos had never been seen nor sent to anyone. I had absolutely no intention of letting anyone see them. I took tons of photos. Most of them were clothed. I emailed them to myself to eventually save on my computer. They were in a private folder called “my pix” along with a plethora of other photos of my dogs, little brothers, parents and such.

    I found out my photos were online while at my then waitressing job. I received a phone call from the hostess not working that night telling me to step outside because she had something urgent to tell me. I stepped outside and she proceeded to tell me that I had a topless photo online along with my full name, Twitter account link, and current city. As total shock was taking over me, she said she was so sorry this happened to me. I felt exposed, ashamed and broke into tears. I could barely finish my shift at work and accidentally spilled water on some customers. I didn't know what else to do other than call my mom. I made her promise not to tell anyone including my father and step-father. I was hoping no one would see it, but within a day a mass text with my photo had been sent to everyone at my restaurant. The assistant manager said she could get me fired over it, and I lost a role in a film, not to mention the tens of thousands of strangers who saw, commented on or even possibly saved the photo.

    When I got home that night I noticed a bunch of random guys adding me on Facebook and following me on social media. I received vile sexual messages and rude comments. One guy told me he saved the photo, which mortified me. The porn star Ron Jeremy even contacted me to “talk business.” This disgusted me immensely. I was worried my name would be tainted and my friends would find out… which they eventually did. I had to watch every move on social media in order to deal with harsh comments and judgments from those around me. I felt hurt that someone would go to such an extent to expose someone in such a nasty way. I didn't want to go anywhere or do anything. During most of the time period when my photo was on the website I was in bed curled into a ball feeling unable to act or move.
    I did do one thing, however. I decided to email Hunter Moore. I asked him nicely to remove my photo which shortly turned into me pleading with him. But still he wouldn't take it down.

    Hunter Moore instead decided to publicly brag online to his 600,000 followers by lying about me and further damaging my reputation. He called me a whore, and he wrote on Twitter, “I fucked Charlotte Laws’ daughter so many times” and “her daughter sucks the best cock.” Your honor, I've never been in the same room with Hunter Moore except in court.

    While my mom was trying to remove the photo from the Internet for me, life was very stressful in and out of home. At home, I was scared for my life. There was even a stalker parked in front of our house on two nights. Once he noticed that we had seen him, he sped off almost crashing into our neighbor’s wall. My mom received threatening phone calls and tweets from members of Hunter Moore’s cult. Some people said they would kill her, and Hunter Moore himself said he would buy a gun and kill the person who started the FBI investigation, who happened to be my mother. This terrified me. My mom and I even went as far as to put metal poles under our beds as weapons in case someone decided to break in and harm us. Outside of the home, I had people who I didn't even know mention that they knew about my photo. I still get people saying it to this day, and I have never really known how to respond.

    When my photos were finally off of his website, it did not stop him. He then threatened to re-post my photos online. He sent a tweet to my mom saying, "Posting your daughter’s nudes tonight. I am Internet and SEO genius." Then he wrote again "I’ll ruin your life and your daughter’s the fun way. When you and your daughter get my dick out of your mouths, you will realize how hard I troll you." He also tried to harass me and mom online by linking our names with his YouTube video titled "How to have sex with cripples."

    There is no ounce of humanity in Hunter Moore and nor do I believe he is capable of rehabilitation. This man is full of hate. I will carry the trauma of this experience with me for the rest of my life.

    What Hunter Moore did was 1000 times worse than anything Charlie Evens did.