Ravshan ”Ronnie” Usmanov was hurt when his girlfriend broke up with him so he did what any unreasonable person would do. He posted nude pictures of his ex-girlfriend on Facebook. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Ronnie has now been sentenced to six-months in prison in Australia’s first social networking-related conviction.
Court documents report that Ronnie posted six nude photos of his ex-girlfriend on Facebook shortly after they broke up. The photos showed his ex-girlfriend “nude in certain positions and clearly showing her breasts and genitalia.”
Ronnie told police:
“I put the photos up because she hurt me and it was the only thing [I had] to hurt her.”
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Usmanov emailed his girlfriend after he posted the photos to Facebook, saying: “Some of your photos are now on Facebook.” The woman, who was not identified, pleaded with Usmanov to take down the photos. When he refused, she called the police.
Deputy-Chief Magistrate, Jane Mottley, said that she hopes the six month jail sentence discourages jaded lovers from taking similar actions in the future. Mottley said:
”New-age technology through Facebook gives instant access to the world. Facebook as a social networking site has limited boundaries. Incalculable damage can be done to a person’s reputation by the irresponsible posting of information through that medium. With its popularity and potential for real harm, there is a genuine need to ensure the use of this medium to commit offences of this type is deterred.”
The court could only name one other case where someone was jailed for a social-networking offense. David Vaile, the executive director of the cyberspace law and policy center at the University of North South Wales, said that he expects several more in the future. Vaile said:
“In a sense this is the tip of the iceberg… There are very few convictions under harassment and indecent publication. It’s not treated as the same way as, say, breaking into a bank website. There is more police support for criminal damage. In this case, he didn’t slash her tyres in an act of revenge. He slashed her reputation.”