An investigation by Rohnert Park detectives into the operator of a “revenge porn” website suspected of hosting more than 400 sexually explicit pictures of California women and charging money to take them down has to led to his arrest, authorities said Friday.
Casey E. Meyering, 28, of Tulsa, Okla., is accused of running Winbystate.com, where risqué pictures of at least one Rohnert Park woman were suspected of being posted early last year by an ex-Sonoma State University student.
Meyering was arrested Thursday in Tulsa by a Rohnert Park detective working with local police and agents from the California Attorney General's Office.
He is charged with five counts of felony extortion and will be brought back to Napa County to face trial.
Rohnert Park Lt. Jeff Taylor said his detectives became aware of the website when a woman came forward seeking help in getting her picture removed.
“That's what started the ball rolling,” Taylor said. “It was through our investigation that we were able to track it down and get the evidence to make the arrest.”
Attorney General Kamala Harris issued a written statement announcing the apprehension, calling Meyering predatory and saying he “made a game out of humiliating victims for profit.”
Meyering charged up to $250 to remove pictures, often posted without consent by ex-partners, Harris said.
His was the third such arrest in California since last fall. A number of similar websites have cropped up and a new state law has made running them a crime.
“We will continue to investigate and prosecute those who participate in these deplorable and illegal activities,” Harris said in a written statement.
Meyering is alleged to have been running his site last year when three women reported to Rohnert Park police that their computers had been hacked and private pictures were stolen and posted online.
Police arrested Paola Angelo Evangelista Barrameda, 28, of Vallejo after one of the women whose pictures were splashed across the Internet suspected he might be involved.