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Man jailed in first major Swiss 'sexting' case

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Man jailed in first major Swiss 'sexting' case
Anti-"sexting" campaign posters. Photos: Pro Juvente
21:36 CEST+02:00
A Zurich district court on Wednesday sentenced a 22-year-old man from the canton of Basel Country to four and half years in jail in Switzerland’s first major “sexting” case.

The district court of Horgen found the unemployed man guilty of rape, sexual acts with a minor, pornography and other charges in an affair that involved him blackmailing three adolescents after persuading them to send him intimate photos of themselves by using smartphones.

The principal victim in the case, dating from 2011, was 15 at the time of the offences, according to court evidence, 20 Minuten newspaper reported.

She started sending to the convicted man via the internet provocative photos of herself wearing skin-tight pants and partially exposed breasts, the court was told.

After threatening to send these photos to her parents, friends and her boyfriend, he requested more explicit, pornographic images, which the girl sent by smart phone using the WhatsApp messaging service, according to the newspaper report.

In total, the man received 700 nude images of the girl, in addition to 100 explicit videos from the victim.

The girl, still a virgin, consented to having sex with the convicted man twice because he promised to delete the photos afterward, which he failed to do, 20 Minuten said.

The judge in the case called the acts alleged against the accused to be “reprehensible and intolerable”.

However, the sentence, to be served in a facility for young adult offenders, fell short of the six-year jail term sought by the prosecutor, who is appealing the case, the SDA news agency reported.

The case marked the first time a major "sexting" incident led to a conviction in Switzerland.

Last October, the youth advisory group Pro Juvente launched a provocative public awareness campaign warning young people of the dangers of sending erotic or pornographic "selfies" on the internet with smartphones.

The group warned that such activity poses a growing danger of cyber-bullying — defamation, harassment and coercion of individuals.

The campaign involved billboard posters showing nude teenagers with a message telling adolescents where they can find more information about the issue and where they can get more help.

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