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Houlton Police Warn County Women About Revenge Porn Website

| January 1, 2014

A website featuring adult pornography has recently become a major concern to Houlton Police. Chief Butch Asselin says a parent brought to his attention that women in the county are having their private pictures posted on a website without their knowledge or consent.

“Some of the photographs are disturbing..distressing, they serve no purpose other than to humiliate and embarrass the individual and their family,” says Chief Asselin.

Many of the photographs were posted by ex-boyfriends and former husbands out of revenge. It’s clear in many cases that the women took the photos themselves not intending for anyone else to see them. Chief Asselin estimates that 30 to 40 women from the county are on there, and the website includes women from all over the world. The users remain anonymous, and some even request images of certain girls by giving their first name and the first initial to their last name.

“They’re getting back at somebody, upset over the break up…angry..and this allows them some anonymity to post something without thinking they’re going to get caught, ” says Chief Asselin.

Most of the women observed were in the 18-30 age range. Chief Asselin didn’t see any minors on the site. Its known in many cases as “revenge porn” and he calls it vicious.

“Had I been told one of my own daughters was on that website, it would certainly cause me some embarrassment, humiliation, and anger,” he says.

News Source 8 is not going to name the website’s URL. Chief Asselin says right now in Maine there’s no law against this type of internet activity, but it is a form of harassment and the police can investigate into those types of complaints. He says with this specific website there is a way to request that the photo be removed but on other websites like this there is a fee. But even after a photo is removed, there’s no way of knowing who might still have access to it.

“Once a picture is out there its pretty much out there forever, its hard to remove these photographs..best advice, don’t have intimate photographs taken that are shared with others because assume, assume that once you do that, they will be shared,” he says.

Chief Asselin says he hopes to work with the legislature to get something in place in order to prevent this from happening, to identify the individuals posting these pictures, and prosecute them.

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