A Manitoba man has been sentenced to nine months in jail after uploading intimate photos of his ex-girlfriend to Twitter in an act of revenge.
In a May 16 provincial court decision published online Monday, Judge Robert Heinrichs denied the man’s bid to serve his jail time at home, saying his “perverse course of action in wanting to inflict harm” on the woman cried out for real jail.
The offender, who is only identified in the decision by the initials SA, pleaded guilty to a charge of knowingly publishing her intimate images.
He grew enraged after finding out in March 2021 his ex-girlfriend had been in a relationship with another man about a year earlier — even though they weren’t together at that time, Heinrichs said.
After an initial argument with her on the phone, the man called and texted her hundreds of times, threatening to kill the other man and to post nude photos of her all over the internet.
He followed up by posting about 15 photos to his hundreds of Twitter followers and also directly to her.
“Always said I would expose some if I got [expletive] over,” the man wrote to her in a separate tweet.
Low risk to reoffend
The woman swiftly called police and he was arrested about five hours later. It was only then that he asked to delete the photos, which police allowed him to do, Heinrichs said.
“There is no way of knowing how many people saw the photos, saved them or shared them with anyone else,” the judge said.
While the victim didn’t submit an impact statement to court, the harm from the crime “can be both perpetual and personal,” Heinrichs said.
The offender, in his 20s, had no prior criminal record, admitted to what he’d done and was assessed by probation officers as a low risk for reoffending, the judge said.
Despite this, letting him serve his punishment at home wouldn’t fit the crime, Heinrichs said.
“When he found out — to his way of thinking — that she had been unfaithful to him, he immediately proceeded to inflict as much harm on her as he could,” the judge said.
“His tweet was sent to hundreds of people he knew and had ready access via his Twitter account.”
The judge tacked an extra 15 days onto the offender’s sentence for breaching his bail order by texting the victim and asking her to drop the charges right after police released him and told him to not contact her.
He will also serve two years of probation after getting out of jail, and is forbidden in that time to use any social media services or contact the victim.