TACOMA, WA – Today Michael Andrew Hart, 44, was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to four counts of violation of a domestic violence court order, stalking, cyberstalking, and six counts of disclosing intimate images, commonly called revenge porn.
“This was the first time we’ve used this relatively new law,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “I hope people get the message — revenge porn is not just stupid and cruel, but also illegal.”
The case was handled by Deputy Prosecutor Dru Swain who asked for an exceptional sentence of nine years, which was above the high end of the standard sentencing range. She called the crimes an effort to destroy the victim’s life.
The judge instead sentenced Hart to a seven-year Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative where he is eligible for early release into treatment after serving half of his sentence.
Hart was convicted in 2014 of attempting to elude, assault in the fourth degree, felony harassment, resisting arrest, and violation of a no contact order. The victim was Hart’s ex-girlfriend. Hart was sentenced last June and a permanent no contact order was put into place.
Hart was released from the Pierce County Jail on December 4, 2015. That same day, the victim’s daughters began receiving email messages sent from an account associated with Hart.
On February 13, 2016, a private Facebook Messenger message was sent to the victim from a fake Facebook account associated with Hart. The message included sexually explicit photographs of the victim that were taken by Hart when he and the victim were in a relationship.
On March 4, 2016, another private Facebook Messenger message was sent by Hart labeled "Karma." This message also included explicit photographs.
The victim said the pictures were not consensual. The explicit images of her were sent to everyone in her contact list, including her mother, her mother's friends, her aunt and great-aunt, her children, her children's friends and boyfriends, the parents of her children's friends, and her friends from school and work.
In addition to the pictures, digital videos of the victim performing sex acts were also sent out to her contacts. Hart also sent sexually explicit photographs of the victim’s sister and her best friend to people on their Facebook friend’s list.
Additionally, the victim said Hart assaulted her numerous times and threatened to kill her and people close to her. She said she believed him and lived in fear.
The revenge porn statute was signed into law in July of 2016.
For more information, please contact James Lynch at (253) 798-6265, [email protected].