Conviction for ‘revenge porn’

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A Brazilian man distraught at being dumped by his girlfriend took revenge by posting an explicit video on social media of them having sex.

Tiago Luiz Lucca, whose bid for a discharge without conviction was refused when he appeared in Queenstown’s court this week, sent the video to another man.

Some time later he had second thoughts and deleted the video, before the man could see it, but Judge Richard Russell said it was only “good luck” that happened.

Lucca, 42, whose occupation’s listed on court documents as admitted two charges arising from the January 18 incident: causing harm by posting a digital communication, and possession of cannabis.

The latter stemmed from a police search of his home the following day.

Russell said the defendant and victim were in a relationship from March last year until January, when she broke up with him.

He began harassing her online, sending “degrading and insulting” messages on WhatsApp, and threatening to send intimate videos to her family and friends.

On the day in question, he sent the victim a message with a screenshot of a Facebook post he’d sent to her ex-boyfriend that contained an explicit video of Lucca and the victim having sex.

The victim described it as “revenge porn”.

After his arrest, Lucca told police he wanted to “do the same emotional harm that she’d done to him”, Russell said.

He’d supported the victim with some emotional issues, helped her relocate to the resort, and bought her a car, and the break-up had been unexpected .

He acknowledged he’d acted in a “despicable” way, and his actions were “without forethought, reactionary and spiteful”.

He was embarrassed by his “disrespectful, childish behaviour”.

Russell told the defendant he’d had a “moment of madness”.

“You really did have a very bad fall from grace on that day.

“No one can simply post images and videos of this type without consequences.

“There are many other ways you could’ve dealt with the frustration and upset that I accept you were feeling.”

Lucca, who had no previous convictions, has been living in New Zealand on work visas for the past seven years, and his current visa’s due to expire next month.

His offending reduced the probability of obtaining a good character waiver needed for his next visa application.

Therefore a conviction would jeopardise his ability to stay in NZ, and prevent him from completing his half-finished studies to become a pilot.

However, Russell said Immigration NZ would be aware of the offending regardless of whether the defendant was convicted or not.

To post a video showing consensual sexual activity of the “most personal and intimate nature” was a serious offence that involved a gross reach of trust.

He declined to give a discharge for the digital communication charge, but granted one for the cannabis matter.

Lucca must pay the victim $500 reparation for emotional harm, carry out 100 hours of community work, and attend a Stopping Violence programme.

Russell made a protection order in favour of the victim.

guy.williams@scene.co.nz