Posted photos bring charges

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – A Holyoke young man who has been arraigned on a charge of disseminating photographs of an unsuspecting nude person was released on $1,000 personal surety.

A resident came to the station in March to report that her former boyfriend, Josh D. Champagne, 19, of 1 Magnolia Ave., Holyoke, had secretly taken photographs of her while she was not dressed and had posted the pictures, under her name, on a social networking website.

Officer Kerry Paton responded and reports that the complainant said “the suspect took the photographs of her without her knowledge or consent” early this year. The posted photos show the victim undressed in her bedroom. The photos had been posted to a popular social networking website on a page associated with the victim’s place of business.

Det. Roxanne Bradley went to the victim’s apartment to speak with the woman and found that the background seen in the objectionable photos matched the victim’s bedroom. She reports that the victim said that she had sent her former boyfriend a text message objecting to his action and he replied, by text. She said that the man admitted taking the pictures, apologized for his action and promised to take the posting down from the website. He also wrote that he will avoid being served a restraining order “so he can still see her” and said that he no longer lives with his parents in Holyoke.

Bradley reports that she contacted Champagne by telephone and made arrangements for him to come to the station for an interview but he did not keep the appointment. Subsequent calls were not answered. Bradley found that the man “has a history of default warrant and his whereabouts are unknown” so she asked that a warrant be issued charging him both with taking and with disseminating nude photos of an unsuspecting person. The offense falls under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272, Section 105, which provides for, upon conviction, a sentence of a two and a half year term in the house of correction and/or a fine of as much as $10,000.

When Champagne was arraigned on Monday before Judge Philip A. Contant he faced two charges for disseminating the photos. Contant allowed his release on $1,000 personal surety pending a July 11 hearing but imposed several conditions. Champagne was enjoined from making any threats or violence toward the victim, from approaching her home or place of employment and from posting any photographs or messages concerning the victim on “any internet social media type sites.” He was ordered to stay away from her and have no contact with her.

Media Credit: The Westfield News

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