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December 11, 2013

Rape victim plans lawsuit against Facebook

MARBLEHEAD, Mass. — A rape victim said she plans to file a lawsuit against Facebook for refusing to voluntarily remove a fake page created in her name by her rapist and posting nude photos of her to it.

The woman announced her intentions after Reid Jones, 44, a local chef, pleaded guilty Tuesday in a Massachusetts court to raping and indecently assaulting the young woman while she was unconscious.

Prosecutors said Jones photographed the assault, and then created a phony Facebook page in her name and posted the pictures to them to embarrass her because she had spurned his romatic advances.

Jones was sentenced to five to seven years in state prison on the rape charge, with a concurrent 4 1/2 to five-year term for indecent assault for secretely photographing the victim in the nude.

Prosecutors said the rape occurred in August of 2010 following a dinner party for mutual friends at Jones' home in this affluent Boston suburb. The victim said she fell asleep after the party. 

The victim learned of the fake Facebook page from friends a month later. She said the social network ignored requests to take down the page from her, the lead investigator in the case and the district attorney's office.

Eventually, she said, she obtained a court order to force Facebook to take down the page.

"I could not walk my own dog down the street without being made to feel like a piece of meat or a piece of trash," said the woman, whose name is being withheld because she is the victim of a sexual assault.

Judge Howard Whitehead described Jones' assault as "particularly malicious. You can take the pictures down, but you can't remove the impression people formed when they saw those photos."

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Details for this story were provided by the Salem, Mass., News

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