Sex tape blackmail ends in community work
An Auckland woman who tried to blackmail her cheating ex-partner with a secretly-recorded sex tape has been sentenced to community detention.
The 43-year-old, whose name is suppressed, recorded herself having sex with her former boyfriend after they had broken up and while he was engaged to a new partner, the High Court in Auckland heard.
After the man married his new partner, the woman tried to use the tape to blackmail him into allowing her to move away with their daughter.
The court heard that when the woman was not successful, she followed through with her threat and showed the evidence to the man's new wife.
She invited the wife to her house and presented her with what the Crown called a "dossier of dirt" - text messages between the pair and recordings.
The woman offered to show the new wife the sex tape but she declined, the court heard.
A High Court jury found the woman guilty in April of one count of blackmail and one count of making an intimate visual recording.
In cross-examination, the man said he realised he had been recorded after the fact - the light on the woman's laptop had alerted him to it.
He said he had a "come-to-Jesus moment" and realised he had been doing stupid things.
He agreed that cheating on his new partner - including just before they got married - was "reckless" and "abhorrent".
The court heard the new wife separated from her husband after she found out about the cheating but later took him back.
At sentencing today, prosecutor Nick Whittington said the blackmail charge was serious because it tried to influence a Family Court proceeding.
Justice Raynor Asher said the offending had a "domestic" quality to it and arose out of a "confused and entirely wrong" reaction to the woman's circumstances with her child.
The intimate visual recording charge was aggravated by the woman actually using it and offering to show it to the man's new wife, he said.
Justice Asher said he did not believe the woman had a "real criminal mentality" and he did not think she would re-offend.
He sentenced her to six months' electronically-monitored community detention and 120 hours of community work.