SC affirms conviction of man for ‘sextortion’

Nillicent Bautista - The Philippine Star
SC affirms conviction of man for �sextortion�
This file photo shows the Supreme Court of the Philippines in Manila.
Philstar.com / EC Toledo

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed the conviction of a man who demanded money from his ex-girlfriend in exchange for deleting her nude photos he posted on Facebook.

In a decision promulgated in August 2023 and released yesterday, the SC’s Second Division convicted Axel Tria of robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons.

He was also sentenced to six to 14 years in prison.

Court records show that Tria threatened the victim that he would upload their photos and sex videos online. When the victim tried to break up with him, Tria became furious and took out his gun.

Several days later, Tria demanded P55,000 from the victim. When the victim refused, Tria hacked her business Facebook page and changed her username and password to prevent her from accessing the account.

Following the hacking, the victim’s sister saw her half-naked photos posted on her Facebook. The photo was a screenshot of their sex video.

Another photo of a naked woman with the victim’s face superimposed was also uploaded.

The victim confronted Tria, who offered to delete them in exchange for the P55,000 he earlier demanded. The victim said she only had P20,000.

Tria’s persistent demands led the victim to report the matter to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and Anti-Cybercrime Group.

Tria was arrested in an entrapment operation when he accepted money from the victim. He was charged with robbery and online libel.

A regional trial court found Tria guilty of robbery but acquitted him of online libel for lack of evidence. The ruling was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

In affirming the robbery conviction, the SC said the victim was clearly forced to give money in exchange for the deletion of her nude photos posted on her Facebook page.

“Her compromising photos damaged and continued to damage her family life, reputation and online business. Thus, she felt she had no
choice but to accede to Tria’s demands,” the decision read.

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