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Charges laid after 'revenge porn' posted on Facebook

It’s one of the first times Canada’s new ‘revenge porn’ charge has been laid against a person in Central Alberta.

Robert Peter Kornelson, 35, of Red Deer is charged with one count of publishing an intimate image without consent.

Red Deer RCMP received a complaint from an adult female victim that intimate photos were posted on the accused’s Facebook page on Nov. 30. The images have since been removed from his Facebook page.

The accused and the victim were known to each other.

Kornelson was charged with the offence on Dec. 1.

He made his first appearance in Red Deer provincial court on Dec. 17.

The charge is new to the Canadian Criminal Code. It received Royal Assent on Dec. 9 2014, and came into effect early this year.

If convicted, Kornelson faces a maximum penalty of five years in custody.

The charge deals specifically with photos, film or video in which a person is nude — defined as exposing genitals, breasts or are engaged in a sexually explicit activity — and at the time of the recording there was a reasonable expectation of the victim’s privacy.

The law was created in the aftermath of the suicides of Rehteah Parsons and Amanda Todd.

Parsons hung herself on April 3, 2013 and went into a coma. She was taken off life support on April 7, 2013. Her death was attributed to photos, which were posted on the Internet, of an alleged gang rape that occurred in November 2011. She was 15 at the time of the incident.

One person pleaded guilty to a charge of distributing child pornography and sentenced to one year of probation. Another person pleaded guilty to making child pornography and was given a conditional discharge with 12-months of probation.

Todd killed herself when she was 15 on Oct. 10, 2012. Before she committed suicide, she posted a video on YouTube detailing her experience with cyber-bullying. She was blackmailed after someone convinced her to bare her breasts via a video chat. A topless photo of her began circulating on the Internet and escalated for more than a year of cyber-bullying.

Dutch police charged a 35-year-old man in April 2014 with indecent assault and child pornography. Mounties also announced the man had been charged with extortion, Internet luring, criminal harassment and possession and distribution of child pornography in connection with Todd.

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