Anoka Man Accused Of Posting Revenge Porn On Fake Facebook Page

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 38-year-old Anoka man is facing felony “revenge porn” charges after creating a fake Facebook account and posting nude and sexually suggestive photos of his ex-wife, along with defamatory messages.

Michael Weigel is charged with three counts of non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images, according to charges filed in Ramsey County. The statue, also known as the revenge porn law, went into effect in August.

According to the criminal complaint, Weigel admitted to authorities that he created a fake Facebook account in December, pretending to be his ex-wife’s new boyfriend. He then sent friend requests out to all of the man’s friends, including his ex-wife’s relatives.

Then, he posted about 20 photos of his ex-wife in sexual poses, with her face clearly identifiable. The woman found out about the photos on the Facebook page after family and friends saw the images.

Along with the images, Weigel also admitted to posting defamatory messages about his ex-wife and her boyfriend on the page, the complaint states. Some of the messages named his ex’s place of employment and suggested that she was not suitable to work there.

In a January interview with police, Weigel allegedly told officers: “Yeah, guys, I created that website … I was lashing out to expose them for the adulterers that they are.”

Attorney Larry Schaefer, owner of Schaefer Halleen, LLC in Minneapolis, has experience handling cases where jilted lovers get back at an ex in a disturbing way, such as posting nude or sexual photos online.

“Whatever you do, don’t engage in conduct that could be considered revenge porn,” Schaefer said. “You’re trying to harm someone in any way that you can and affect their future employment as well and, again, that’s an aggravating circumstance that could and should lead to felony charges.”

Schaefer says the case is a reminder that actions like these can now be criminal in Minnesota, regardless of the possible motivation.

“And really it was apparent, this is the quintessential revenge porn,” Schaefer said.

He says that victims in these cases can also take the matter to civil court for invasion of privacy and seek damages.

“Juries are very sympathetic and don’t hesitate to award significant damages, well into six figures when something like this has happened,” he said.

Weigel is scheduled to appear in court on March 20. He is not currently in custody.

If convicted of the revenge porn charges, he faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine for each count.

More from Jeff Wagner
Comments

One Comment

  1. Why do idiots take photos and videos of their sex acts? It will always be found and posted online in some way. Even hackers can easily find these on anyone’s personal pc. When you discard your laptop or pc, the hard drive can still hold all that information when you bring it in for recycling.

    1. I no longer have access to the one’s of the gals I dated. The ones of my wife have yet to find their way to anything other than my encrypted CD. I think it is more reasonable for gals today to do these things. But sadly I also think its reasonable for them to be aware of the risk of doing. In other words they know there is no reasonable expectation of privacy when they pose.

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