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Hacker pleads guilty to ‘Fappening’ celebrity nude leaks

Ryan Collins from Pennsylvania has reportedly agreed to a plea deal – though he may only serve an 18-month sentence

It’s finally happened. Two years after the infamous “Fappening” leak of 2014 – which saw over 100 women have the contents of their iCloud’s strewn across the Internet – justice may be about to get served. Reports on Gawker reveal that Pennsylvania’s Ryan Collins has agreed to implicate himself in the scandal, and is now facing up to five years in prison.

The 36-year-old hacker will plead guilty to one count of felony computer hacking, and another for unauthorised access to a personal computer. According to the plea document, he apparently used a phishing scam to crack into the accounts of more than 100 Apple iCloud and Gmail accounts – which led to over 500 private (and explicit) images being shared across both Reddit and 4Chan.

The incident also affected up to 18 celebrities; including (allegedly) Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna and Cara Delevingne. “It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime,” Lawrence told Vanity Fair, several months after the news first hit. “It is a sexual violation. It's disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change.” 

Unfortunately, authorities don’t seem to have this same sense of urgency. With revenge porn still not recognised as a crime in many US states, paltry sentences are commonplace: with many victims feeling neglected by the justice system. Even in this highly publicised scenario, Collins may walk away with a much lighter sentence than he deserves – with the document claiming that he’s only been recommended “a prison term of 18 months”. Whether it will be that low will be down to the discretion of the sentencing judge.

It’s unclear at this stage if anyone else will be implicated in the crime, though police have confirmed that the investigation is still “ongoing.”