California's Attorney General said today that the state is charging Kevin Christopher Bollaert with 31 felony counts of conspiracy, extortion and identity theft for allegedly operating revenge porn site "ugotposted.com" and demanding money from those who inadvertently appeared on it.

A revenge porn site, in case you're not up on horrifying, web trends, allows vindictive exes and other terrible people to post naked photos of former mates, without their permission, and often with identifying personal information. Websites like Bollaert's capitalized on the practice by then charging women to remove their photographs and names from the site. If a women requested a removal, she was directed to the site "changemyreputation.com" where she was instructed to pay up to $350 to purge the information. 

According to the statement issued by the Attorney General, Bollaert collected tens of thousands of dollars from victims, in addition to $900 per month from advertisers. 

Ryan Calo writes in Forbes that Bollaert may be protected from some charges because though he facilitated the transaction, he didn't upload photos himself:

There is indeed a federal law known as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that immunizes websites for what users post there. So, for instance, when Sheriff Thomas Dart of Cook County, Illinois sought to bring criminal charges against Craigslist for prostitution allegedly taking place within Craigslist’s “erotic services” section, the website argued that it cannot be charged with the crimes of its users... The court in Dart v. Craigslist, Inc. invoked Section 230 and dismissed the lawsuit.

Bollaert could avoid charges because of Section 230. Legislation targeting revenge porn websites specifically does not exist, but may eventually in spite of concerns over infringing upon the First Amendment. According to The New York Times

Eugene Volokh, a First Amendment scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles, said he saw no constitutional obstacle to a law written narrowly to address naked or sexual images distributed without permission. “I think that’s a kind of invasion of privacy that the courts would say can be prohibited,” he said.

In November, the Wisconsin Assembly passed a bill banning the sites, and a similar Philadelphia bill would do the same. If charged, Bollaert faces fines and jail time. He is currently being held in a San Diego jail on $50,000 bail.