A 27-year-old fridge repairer apprentice has been jailed five years for blackmailing a female teacher with threats of posting her nude photos and videos on social media.
The Ho High Court, presided over by Justice Eric Baah, found Cephas Agbebianu Anani guilty on three counts of defrauding by false pretence, extortion and publication of obscene material, and consequently sentenced him to five years imprisonment on counts one and two, and three years for the last count.
The sentences are, however, to run concurrently.
Delivering his judgement last Friday after a full-year trial, the judge noted that Anani had violated the social media policy, indicating that he deserved a 25-year jail term for the crime, but that he had dealt leniently with him because he was a first-time offender.
His sentence, Justice Baah said, was to serve as a deterrent to others.
Anani, who resided at Gbi-Kledjo, near Hohoe in the Volta Region, was reported to have had online conversations with the victim on Facebook between December 2018 and January 2019 using the username Gwada Thoni and a photograph of Prince William of the United Kingdom as his display picture to misrepresent himself to the victim.
The Prosecutor, Chief Superintendent Ayamga Ayakubu Akoglo, said Anani obtained the WhatsApp number of the complainant and managed to convince her to send her nude pictures and videos to the Gwada Thoni Facebook account.
The victim reportedly obliged and forwarded the requested nude materials to the fake account of the accused via messenger.
Upon receiving the materials, Anani started blackmailing her through his WhatsApp number 0554948428 that he knew her at Gbi-Kledjo, and that she should pay GH¢2,000 or must allow him to have sex with her 10 times.
The convict then threatened her that if she failed to send the said amount or refused him sex, he would publish her nude pictures and videos on social media for people to watch to prove that he was serious.
The victim, shocked about the threat, told Cephas that she did not have much money to give him and further begged him not to publish the nude materials.
Anani, however, instructed the lady to send GH¢100 to him to book a hotel room where he could have sex with her.
Chief Superintendent Ayamga explained to the court that out of fear, the victim sent the money to him to book the hotel room at Afegame Hotel as demanded, but unknown to him, the complainant had reported the matter to the police at Hohoe.
Following the complaint, the Hohoe police, on surveillance, went to the hotel on the said meeting date but the convict, who appeared at the hotel as arranged, managed to escape arrest.
The complainant identified him as someone she knew at Kledjo, which led to his arrest at his hideout at Kpoeta.
In court, Anani denied all the charges and upon a plea by his counsel, Emile Atsu Agbakpe, he was granted bail in the sum of GH¢20,000 with two sureties.