Hacker who stole nude celebrity photos sentenced to 9 months

Jennifer Lawrence attends the press conference for 'Passengers' at Times square CGV theater in Seoul; South Korea.
Jennifer Lawrence attends the press conference for 'Passengers' at Times square CGV theater in Seoul; South Korea. Jong Hyun Kim/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

A man involved in the celebrity nude-photo scandal Celebgate, also know as “The Fappening,” has been sentenced to nine months in prison, for hacking the private online accounts of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities, and stealing sensitive information, including nude photos and videos.

Edward Majerczyk, of Illinois, was ordered to pay US$7,500 as restitution for counseling costs to one of his celebrity victims whose private photos were leaked online. Majerczyk is believed to have accessed online accounts, including email addresses of 30 celebrities, the Associated Press reports.

He is accused of sending phishing emails to his victims, making them believe they were being contacted by their email provider and tricking them into divulging their email addresses and passwords.

READ MORE: Hacker who stole nude celebrity photos sentenced to 18 months in prison

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Majerczyk agreed to plead guilty last year to a felony violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, specifically, one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information. He faced a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Majerczyk’s lawyer, Thomas Needham, said that at the time of the hacking, his client had been “suffering from depression and looked to pornography websites and internet chat rooms in an attempt to fill some of the voids and disappointment he was feeling in his life.”

READ MORE: 1 in 25 people are victims of ‘revenge porn’ new study says

Needham added that his client had been “deeply affected” by the dramatic events of the celebrity hacking scandal and had been seeking therapy for anxiety and panic attacks.

Nude photos of Lawrence and other celebrities including Kate Upton, Rihanna and Kirsten Dunst, widely circulated across the internet in 2014.

Lawrence said that the incident was a “sex crime” and “sexual violation.” She also said she was “so afraid, I didn’t know how it would affect my career,” in an interview with Vanity Fair.

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