Denver man charged with violating new 'revenge porn' law by posting intimate pics of ex-girlfriend

DA: Man posted photos on day law took effect

DENVER - A Denver man appears to be the first person charged with violating the state's new "revenge porn" law by allegedly posting intimate images of a 19-year-old woman online after she broke up with him.

The charges allege 25-year-old Michael Clasen posted the intimate pictures of the victim on the Internet on July 1 -- the day the new law took effect.

Michael Clasen, 25, is also accused of stalking the ex-girlfriend and vandalizing her and her mother's vehicles.

Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey formally charged Clasen with posting an image for harassment. The class-1 misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine.  

In the past, so-called revenge porn violations were 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 district attorney has also charged Clasen with two counts of criminal mischief -- both a felony and a misdemeanor charge -- along with two felony counts of stalking and misdemeanor possession of an illegal weapon.

The charges allege that Clasen began stalking the woman in the last week of June after she ended their relationship.

According to an arrest affidavit, the former girlfriend and her mother told Denver police they suspected Clasen had been vandalizing their cars parked at their Madison Street home. The ex-girlfriend said someone had slashed three tires on her car and placed screws under fourth tire so that it would puncture when she drove off.

The mother and daughter said they installed a motion detector outside their home to deter the vandalism, but someone had cut an electrical wire powering the motion detection.   

It got so bad that former girlfriend went to stay with relatives in Jefferson County, but she spotted Clasen driving past her relative's home, the affidavit said.

A family friend who was keeping an eye on Madison Street home at the 19-year-old victim's request, told police he found someone had laid a strip of nails attached to adhesive strips, stretched along the entire length of the driveway.

The friend removed the spiked strips, but said he later spotted Clasen standing in the driveway of the ex-girlfriend's home. After Clasen jumped in his car and sped off, the family friend said he found another set of spiked strips in the driveway, the affidavit said.   

Clasen was arrested on July 6 and remains in the Denver Detention Center; his bond is set at $50,000.

He is schedule to appear in Denver Court on Friday to be advised of the charges against him.

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