Hacker Accused of Stealing Nude Photos of Celebrities Gets Prison Time
Andrew Helton, the man behind the “Celebgate” nude photo hack that affected more than a dozen famous Hollywood actors, musicians, and celebrities, has now been sentenced to serious prison time.
Helton, a 29-year-old Oregon man, was accused of using his computer, cell phone, and other electronic devices to unlawfully gain access to the private email accounts of numerous celebrities. In total, Helton allegedly stole 161 nude photographs and naked “selfies” from 13 different people. Among the famous people affected by the Celebgate hack were actress Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton. At one point during the scandal, Jennifer Lawrence told the media that she felt like the victim of a sex crime whose privacy had been seriously violated.
When the nude photos hacked by Helton were leaked on the Internet in August 2014, they soon went viral and created a major scandal. Although federal authorities do not believe that Helton was responsible for the salacious photographs being leaked online, he was ultimately held accountable for stealing the images in the first place. (Helton was actually in police custody at the time that the Celebgate photos were first circulated over the Internet.)
Now it appears that Helton will finally get his comeuppance in the criminal case. A federal judge recently sentenced the computer hacker to a term of incarceration of six months. This came after Helton pleaded guilty to the serious criminal charges in February 2016.
Not everyone was happy with the sentence handed down by the judge. Stephanie S. Christensen, the Assistant U.S. Attorney General handling the criminal case, implored the federal judge to give Helton a sentence of at least one year behind bars. According to Christensen, Helton “targeted strangers, acquaintances, and celebrities alike.” Moreover, said the federal prosecutor, Helton “systematically pilfered nude and intimate images of his victims and stored them in his own computer for personal use.”
It is unclear why the judge decided to disregard the prosecution’s request for a harsher punishment. During the sentencing proceedings, Helton’s criminal defense attorney argued that his client suffered from mental illness and that he has already suffered enough for his actions.
For more information about this high-profile criminal case, read the HuffingtonPost.com article, “Celeb Photo Hacker Sentenced to Six Months in Prison.”
If you are facing criminal charges for any kind of criminal offense in New Jersey, it is imperative that you speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could be facing severe penalties that include prison time. Jill R. Cohen, Esq., is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who won’t stop fighting for you. Contact The Law Offices of Jill R. Cohen today to schedule a free consultation.