Second alleged victim claims she was blackmailed into sending nude pictures
Another young woman told the Supreme Court yesterday that she had been blackmailed into sending nude images of herself to a Facebook account for more than a year.
The witness, who said she was under the age of 14 when the demands began, told the court she gave in out of fear that explicit images of her would be sent to her family.
The defendant, a 30-year-old from St George’s, has denied a string of offences including extortion, making child pornography, accessing child pornography and distributing child pornography.
Neither he nor the claimants in the case can be identified for legal reasons.
The court had earlier heard evidence from a young woman, who said she had become friends with the defendant out of a shared love of music.
She had told the court that when she was 15, she was contacted by someone on Facebook who claimed to be a hacker and demanded explicit videos from her at the threat of releasing images they claimed they had found on her phone.
The complainant said she spoke to the defendant about the threat, who told her that if explicit images were released it would prevent her from a career in music, the court heard.
She said she complied with the demands for months before she began to ignore them and the materials were released.
As the trial continued yesterday, the court heard from another young woman who said she fell prey to the alleged blackmail scheme.
The witness told the court that in December 2013 she was contacted on Facebook by an account with the name of her friend.
“They were telling me to send them explicit pictures or they are going to post them on social media or send them to my parents,” she said.
She said she complied with the demands out of fear.
“It went on for two years, but there were breaks in between,” she said. “Sometimes I would take breaks and basically didn’t answer.
“Sometimes they would switch the Facebook account to my name and use one of the pictures of me to get my attention.”
The witness told the court that at one point the self-proclaimed hacker started a group conversation, which included the defendant and another of the witness’s male friends and posted images in the chat.
“The hacker was asking them questions in the group chat. Do you know her and stuff like that,” she said.
She said she talked to the male friend about it, who told her he had reported it to the police.
However, she said the defendant “didn’t really say much about it” and that at one stage it appeared in the group chat that he and the blackmailer knew each other.
In 2014, as the alleged blackmail scheme continued, she said the defendant told her to get photographs of a friend – the previous witness in the case – which she refused.
“They basically told me they wanted help getting pictures of her and told me to convince her,” she said.
However, she said that a couple of months later they had convinced the girl to send images and ordered the girls to produce videos together.
She said her first instinct was to refuse despite the threats, but she gave in to the demands because she said her friend was upset and was desperate to prevent the alleged blackmailer from releasing what they had gathered.
The witness said he later contacted her again and demanded that she produce a video with a male, but she refused.
A short while later, while she was overseas, she discovered that one of the videos she recorded with the other witness had been released on social media.
“People were sending it to me and asking what had happened,” she said.
The trial continues.
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