2015-04-04 Revenge Porn

I’ve seen a few posts in my Google+ stream happy with the 18 years a revenge porn guy got. They linked to news items like this Revenge Porn" Defendant Sentenced to 18 Years, “Kevin Bollaert was found guilty of posting sexually explicit photos of women online to extort them.”

I’m happy revenge porn guy gets punished. Fuck him! But, as I live in a country where a life sentence means 25 years (17 years if you behave well in prison), 18 years seems incredibly harsh. Well, at least he’s “eligible for parole after 10 years” as reported by the same news article.

I’m unaware of a similar case here in Switzerland. I’ll have to ask my wife. She’s the expert when it comes to crime and punishment in the family. :)

I looked at a few of the Facebook comments below the article and saw a few comments regarding revenge porn guys inadequate expression of remorse. I’m always suspicious when the punishment depends on the punished showing adequate remorse or some other reaction that depends on their social graces. If they have none, if the convicted are emotionally stunted, do they deserve harsher punishment?

I just looked at Art. 156 of the Swiss Criminal Code.


  1. Any person who, with a view to securing an unlawful gain for himself or for another, induces another person by using violence or the threat of seriously detrimental consequences to behave in such a way that he or another sustains financial loss is liable to a custodial sentence not exceeding five years or to a monetary penalty.
  2. If the offender acts for commercial gain, or if he repeatedly commits the offence against the same person, he is liable to a custodial sentence of from one to ten years.
  3. If the offender uses violence against another or if he threatens another with an immediate danger to life and limb, a penalty in accordance with Article 140 hereof is imposed.
  4. If the offender threatens to endanger the life and limb of a large number of persons or to cause serious damage to property in which there is a substantial public interest, he is liable to a custodial sentence of not less than one year.

I’m not sure what would happen if a person is convicted of multiple cases of extortion. I’m guessing that in Switzerland, Kevin Bollaert would have gotten ten years at most, eligible for parole after ⅔ of that.

What about the ex-husbands and ex-boyfriends, I wonder. Somebody sent those pictures to revenge porn sites. Shouldn’t they all get punished as well? It may not be extortion but I’m sure it’s something. Maybe Art. 177 is appropriate?


  1. Any person who attacks the honour of another verbally, in writing, in pictures, through gestures or through acts of aggression is liable on complaint to a monetary penalty not exceeding 90 daily penalty units.
  2. If the insulted party has directly provoked the insult by improper behaviour, the court may dispense with imposing a penalty on the offender.
  3. If there is an immediate response to the insult by way of a retaliatory insult or act of aggression, the court may dispense with imposing a penalty on either or both offenders.

A “daily penalty unit” depends on the punished’s personal finances and can go up to $3000, as seen in Art. 34 of the Swiss Criminal Code.

Monetary penalty


  1. Unless the law provides otherwise, a monetary penalty amounts to a maximum of 360 daily penalty units. The court decides on the number according to the culpability of the offender.
  2. A daily penalty unit amounts to a maximum of 3000 francs. The court decides on the value of the daily penalty unit according to the personal and financial circumstances of the offender at the time of conviction, and in particular according to his income and capital, living expenses, any maintenance or support obligations and the minimum subsistence level.
  3. The authorities of the Confederation, the cantons and the communes shall provide the information required to determine the daily penalty unit.
  4. The number and value of the daily penalty units must be stated in the judgment.



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