WEB PRIVACY

13 men found guilty of distributing sexual video of young female neighbor

Computer technician in Galicia found and copied recording, which was passed around town

A computer technician found the private files in the client's trash folder.
A computer technician found the private files in the client's trash folder.Jay LaPrete (AP)

In 2004, a young woman from Ordes, a town of 13,000 inhabitants in Galicia, made videos of herself as she masturbated. The 21-year-old was completely naked, with clamps on her nipples, and her face was perfectly visible.

She made four recordings, the longest one lasting 30 seconds, and saved them on her computer. Later she deleted the files, but forgot to empty the trash folder.

Some time later, the young woman took her computer to a local store to get a CD recorder installed.

The victim changed her residence and sustained psychological damage, the court said

The employee discovered the videos, and without telling his boss or the customer, burnt them on to a CD. He gave that to a friend, then to another friend, and so on. The sexually explicit material made its way around town between 2004 and 2005 until the victim was warned about it by some girlfriends and decided to file a complaint with the Civil Guard.

The video was at various times available online, and was distributed inside a bar, at friends’ private gatherings, at the offices of an administrative agency, at the municipal swimming pool, and at the fire station.

Some of the men involved in the case decided to make even more copies and began handing them out around town, although there is no evidence that money was exchanged.

Now, the Supreme Court has struck down appeals filed by 13 of the 15 individuals who in 2014 were found guilty of disclosure of secrets by the A Coruña provincial court. The defendants were all born between 1970 and 1987.

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The most serious conviction is for the computer technician who made the original copy, who was sentenced to a year and nine months in prison. The lightest sentences were seven months. All the defendants benefited from the fact that the proceedings were so lengthy, which entitled them to reductions in their punishments.

The victim will also receive compensation from the guilty parties, ranging from €3,000 to €15,000. Several of them will also have to cover the costs of eliminating all traces of the video on the internet.

“A significant proportion of the population of Ordes was aware of, or saw, their neighbor’s video, which is currently still available on some websites,” read the 2014 ruling by the provincial court, now ratified by the Supreme Court.

Because of this local publicity, the victim “changed her residence and sustained psychological damage due to chronic stress, which is permanent: her social relations are affected by it,” the court said.

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