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Man accused of using ex's Facebook account to send explicit images

Cybersecurity expert explains how to prevent this from happening after breakup

ST. MARYS, Ga. – St. Marys police said they arrested a man who illegally took over his ex-girlfriend's Facebook account then used the account to transmit nude images of her online. 

Henry Powell, 34, is charged with transmitting sexually explicit images, tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice and computer trespass.

According to the St. Marys Police Department, Powell illegally gained access to his ex-girlfriend's Facebook account, blocked her from accessing the account and then used the account to link to her Facebook Messenger where he accessed several explicit images of her that were intended for private use.

According to a preliminary police report, Powell admitted to sending those images via Facebook Messenger to her relatives. It is only the preliminary report, which means more charges are pending.

Attorney Randy Reep is not affiliated with the case, but said Powell is accused of illegally accessing the victim’s social media account, impeding her from using the account and stealing something that belongs to her.

"That is a type of trespass," Reep said. 

Reep said criminal computer activity is nothing new, but "it is growing very fast."

"We see more things like the standard revenge porn," he said.

Chris Hamer, a computer security expert, said it is very hard to hack into someone's social media account, but not always.

"Somebody that has been in a previous relationship, there is a good probability that passwords have been shared, devices have been used. Something may be cached," Hamer said.

To prevent this from happening after a bad breakup, Hamer suggests eliminating account access to all devices that used the account and then change the password.

He added: "If you don’t want naked pictures of you on the internet, don’t have naked pictures on any device that’s connected to the internet. It’s the simplest way to avoid it."

In the St. Marys case, according to Hamer, the victim could go after Powell in civil court because the private pictures are copyrighted material that belongs to the victim.


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