Women jailed for 3 years, fined $5M each for sharing sex tape of friend on social media platforms.
A big lessons to us all. “You can’t allow your emotions to take control of you. It’s hard, a really hard lesson but I hope you learn from it. I need to send a message so that you or anyone else won’t do something like that again.”
This was the advice given by Senior Magistrate Leron Daly yesterday to two women whom she had just sentenced to 3 years’ imprisonment each and ordered them to pay a fine of $5M each, for humiliating their friend by sharing a sex tape on social media.
With tears streaming down her face, 21-year-old Melissa Ann Pestano, a mother of one, of Wortmanville, Georgetown, told the court that her friend’s action really hurt her, since they grew up together and lived like sisters.
“My emotions took control of me because I couldn’t cope with what I found out, that she [victim] was doing that behind my back.”
While Pestano was in tears explaining to the court the reason for videoing her friend and sharing it, co-accused Janelle Williams, 23, a mother of two, also of Wortmanville, Georgetown, stood next to her, and downed her head, and showed little emotion.
Pestano and Williams were arraigned in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts. The women pleaded guilty to the individual charges that were read to them.
The court heard that between January 20 and January 21, 2020, Williams used a cell phone to transmit data that was intended to humiliate the victim. It was also alleged that Pestano used a computer to cause distress to the victim.
Police prosecutor Richard Harris told the court that the defendants and the victim are friends and that they are very close. The defendants had a conversation and it was revealed that the victim was having an affair with Paul Pollard (Pestano’s boyfriend).
The prosecutor added that as a result, the defendants confronted the victim about the alleged affair and later planned to get back at the victim. The women arranged for Pollard and the victim to book a room at the K&VC International Hotel at South Road, Georgetown.
After Pollard checked into the room with the victim, 10 minutes later Pestano arrived and was given information about which room they were in. Pestano then entered the room and videoed the sex act.
A popular singer from Jamaica posted the video on his Instagram page and from there other persons from the Caribbean started sharing the video. However, due to the explicit video being reported, most of the videos were removed from social media platforms.