Ex-boyfriend is the first sentenced for ‘revenge porn’ in Pierce County.
The first person in Pierce County to be sentenced for so-called “revenge porn” has been charged with that crime again, less than a month after the state Department of Corrections says he was released from prison.
Michael Andrew Hart, 45, pleaded not guilty at arraignment Friday to disclosing intimate images and to stalking.
Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner Sabrina Ahrens set bail at $500,000.
Hart was released from prison April 15, DOC said, after serving time for similar charges.
The charging papers in the new case give this account:
A woman told police that she and Hart went to high school together and that he recently contacted her on Facebook.
They started spending time together, and she said Hart quickly became controlling, scary, and “revealed himself to be an ‘(expletive),’” deputy prosecutor Robert Yu wrote in the declaration for determination of probable cause.
She started trying to cut ties with him after about two weeks.
She showed police a petition for a protection order that she’d written, which said Hart:
▪ Showed up at her home after she told him not to, repeatedly rang the doorbell and knocked, then repeatedly called her phone and left messages demanding sex and her prescription medicine.
▪ Demanded nude photos from her in text messages and voice messages, got angry when she said no and told her he would get what he asked.
▪ Told her that she doesn’t know when to shut up, that he beats such women and that she is a dangerous woman.
▪ Told her that if he gets in trouble again he faces 12 years in prison and that he’ll start killing women.
She also told police that Hart showed her a sexual photo of a woman, the description of which matched a photo of an ex that he was sentenced for under the so-called “revenge porn” law last year.
In that case Hart spread sexual images of his ex-girlfriend, her sister and her friend across Facebook without their permission.
He was sentenced to seven years last year after he pleaded guilty to stalking, cyberstalking, four counts of violating a domestic violence protection order and six counts of disclosing intimate images — which state lawmakers made a gross misdemeanor in 2015. If he’s convicted of disclosing intimate images again, that law makes it a felony.
Hart got credit for time served in jail awaiting the resolution of his case and was given a special drug offender sentencing alternative, which meant he was eligible to spend a significant part of his sentence getting treatment in the community.
As Judge Karena Kirkendoll handed down the sentence, she told Hart that she believed him to be dangerous and ordered him to get mental health, drug and domestic violence treatment. The sentence also included additional time that was suspended, as long as he avoided further trouble with the law.
“I need to change, and I want to change, and I will change,” Hart told the judge.
Hart’s attorney argued that he suffered from a substance abuse problem and mental health trouble.
Prosecutors argued for a longer sentence and said he was calculated in trying to destroy his ex’s life by distributing graphic and demeaning images.
The ex-girlfriend, identified by the initials S.C., told the court that she dated Hart for six years, and that he physically, sexually and emotionally abused her.
“The only way we can protect ourselves from him is to keep him locked up,” S.C. told the court.
At the time, she was one of at least seven women who had asked for protection orders against Hart since 2000, according to court records.
S.C. told reporters outside court Friday: “He just continues to harm people’s lives. ... He’s very cunning. He’s very manipulative. He knows exactly what to say. He’s a predator.”
Hart also was accused of making threatening and profane calls to dispatchers in December 2016 after police visited his home.
Those felony harassment charges were dismissed as part of negotiations with prosecutors in the stalking case last year.