Affidavit: Man spread 'Revenge Porn' after Adams County woman left him

Man faces harassment, invasion of privacy charges

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. - When an Adams County woman told Joshua Koester she was leaving him, he allegedly threatened to post photos of her sleeping in the nude "all over the net," according to court records obtained by 7NEWS.

Koester is also accused of sending a Facebook message to the woman with a photo of her sleeping in bed with her breast exposed and the warning: "At least pretend to give a s---!!! Or I send this pic to EVERYBODY on my list and post it on my [Facebook] page," court records state.

An investigator said Koester sent a text titled "Sleeping Beauty" with the same nude photo to the woman's old boyfriend, with whom she was reuniting. "[I] posted that pic all over the net last night," Koester texted, according to court records.

This alleged "revenge porn" incident happened last year and the 41-year-old Koester was arrested in October on misdemeanor charges of invasion of privacy for sexual gratification, harassment involving insults or taunts and harassment involving telephone or computer network communication.

On Tuesday, a new state law took effect making the act of "revenge porn" a class-1 misdemeanor in Colorado. It prohibits an individual from posting private, intimate photographs and videos of someone without their consent on social media or any website.

In the past, revenge porn was prosecuted as class-3 misdemeanor harassment with penalties ranging from a minimum $50 fine to a maximum six months in jail and a $750 fine.

The new law raises the maximum punishment to 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine.  

State lawmakers are warning that vengeful individuals will pay for spreading lurid images of former partners across the Internet.      

"The effects of someone posting intimate photos online can be devastating to the victim, but now there will be serious consequences for the perpetrators of this horrible practice," said the legislation's sponsor, State Rep. Amy Stephens, R-Monument. "Women, and men, of Colorado will be able to seek justice against someone attempting to cause them harm by publishing personal and private images online."

Seventeenth Judicial District Attorney Dave Young said his office has seen an increase in cases where young people, especially, are posting improper photos or videos of people they know on social media.

"It's been popular among high school level kids who are either playing games or they think it's cute to do that," Young said. "They're not hardened criminals; they're being high school kids. So we normally divert them [out of the traditional justice system] and get them some education."

However, Young warns, if the victim is a juvenile, taking and transmitting sexually explicit photos or videos becomes a felony. "If the victim's a child, then it's child pornography," he said.

"This has been an issue and I think that's why we had this new legislation," said Young, whose district includes Adams and Broomfield counties. "What happens is someone's in a relationship and when that relationship's over this becomes a mechanism for getting back at that partner and using photos that you may have on your iPad or your iPhone and publishing it."

"Hopefully this legislation will help alleviate some of this," he added.

Koester can't be charged under the new law, because he's accused of committing a crime before it took effect.

But his troubles with the law continue to mount.

On Monday, an Adams County judge issued an arrest warrant for Koester, who is accused of violating the conditions of his bond.

He remains at large and his trial is scheduled to start on Thursday.

Koester, whose nicknames include "Shadow" and "Wizard," has a 22-year criminal history in Colorado, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation records. He's done prison time for burglary and has other prior arrests for parole violation, escape and carrying a prohibited weapon.

He was convicted of indecent exposure in Denver in 2012 and again in 2005, court records state.

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