Man jailed after nude photo is put on MySpace

BRADENTON — Anthony Daniel Rich Jr. was "experimenting" with his girlfriend, authorities say, when he snapped a nude photo of her last year using a cell phone camera.

Rich, 19, stored the image of his girlfriend, who was a minor, on his home computer. Months went by and there were no problems in the relationship. But things apparently fell apart in a hurry after an argument last month.

Authorities say Rich, who was no longer dating the girl then, quickly got to work — turning to the illicit image he took of the girl.

He reportedly broke into the girl’s MySpace account and posted the nude image on her Web site home page. He also put the photo on fliers that he handed out at a local party, detectives said.

Rich was arrested last week on charges of publishing unlawful pornography and promoting a sexual performance by a person under 18.

Rich, who could not be reached for comment, was released from jail on his own recognizance, court records show. His mother declined to talk about the case, but said her son was meeting with an attorney this week.

Manatee County sheriff’s detectives say Rich took a provocative picture of the girl in a vehicle. Rich stored the image on a computer at his house in the 7200 block of Eighth Avenue Loop in Bradenton.

Authorities did not reveal the girl’s name or age in court papers. Rich and the girl dated for more than two years, according to sheriff’s reports.

In January, Rich used the girl’s password to get onto her MySpace page, authorities say. He posted the image to the page — making the photo her "profile" image, accessible to anyone — and put her name under the photo.

Authorities say Rich then sent an e-mail bulletin to the girl’s 500 friends on MySpace, telling them to go check out new photos on the page.

Rich, according to sheriff’s reports, distributed more than 200 fliers, bearing the photo and the girl’s name, at a party on Anna Maria Island last year.

When the victim arrived, Rich reportedly destroyed the bulk of the fliers by burning them in a fireplace. The victim, authorities said, recovered two of the fliers. The girl told detectives she received calls from people around the state about seeing her nude picture.

Police used "investigative tools" — generally, a recorded phone call or a conversation — to catch Rich talking about copying and distributing the sexual photo, authorities said in court papers. Sheriff’s detective Mark Young called Rich’s actions "malicious." Authorities seized Rich’s computer as part of the criminal case.

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