Porn star’s cyber attacker sentenced

Lisa Lewis said the cyberattacks of 2018 and 2019 were the worst she had experienced. PHOTO:...
Lisa Lewis said the cyberattacks of 2018 and 2019 were the worst she had experienced. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
An online porn star has faced her online abuser and charted the "incredible humiliation" he inflicted.

The 33-year-old Dunedin man wrote three fake stories about Lisa Lewis - a former sex worker and ex-Hamilton mayoral candidate - on now-defunct parody websites.

The man, who was granted interim name suppression, appeared before the Dunedin District Court yesterday after admitting three charges under the Harmful Digital Communications Act.

Judge David Robinson sentenced him to three months’ community detention, 12 months’ intensive supervision and 100 hours’ community work, allowing the defendant to return to an Auckland-based rehabilitation programme where he spent time on bail.

The judge said the cyberattacks had resulted in significant financial and psychological stress to the victim.

Ms Lewis, who initially attained notoriety for a bikini-clad pitch invasion during an All Blacks test in 2006, said the torrent of abuse was "the most defaming and slanderous thing anyone’s ever said about me".

"I believe he wanted to destroy me and my income," she said.

"He didn’t destroy me but he did humiliate me."

Ms Lewis said the defendant had "trolled" her on social media and she had been concerned about how far he might have gone to hurt her.

The victim, who described herself as an "OnlyFans online creator porn actress", said she wanted a public apology from her tormentor.

In the defendant’s first article, written in June 2018, he suggested the victim had been employed by Bunnings Warehouse to provide sexual services to elderly war veterans and made a reference to Adolf Hitler.

The following year, he targeted the adult actress again.

He falsely wrote that Ms Lewis was living in a state house while providing commercial sexual services.

A day later, the defendant cooked up more fake news, suggesting the Hamilton woman had been arrested and charged by police, attaching a pixelated courtroom photo of a similar-looking woman to lend the story validity.

His final online blow was to make the bogus claim that Ms Lewis had AIDS.

She told the court yesterday she suspected a third party was behind the orchestrated character assassination.

"I’d love to know who and why," Ms Lewis said.

Counsel Anne Stevens QC said her client had no particular reason to abuse the victim and put his actions down to a significant alcohol problem.

"He drank all the time, he was always drunk and he lost his judgement ... He thought it was funny," she said.

The man had now vowed to stay away from alcohol and social media.

Judge Robinson said it appeared, because of Ms Lewis’ public profile, the defendant thought she was fair game.

"She was not."

The cyber bully maintained his articles were simply poorly executed satire but the judge said that contradicted his plea, which acknowledged an intent to cause harm.

It was indicative of a "lack of insight", he said.

Ms Lewis has been no stranger to the legal system of late.

In April, she was awarded $10,000 because of "nuisance" behaviour by staff of the Hamilton Cosmopolitan Club, which neighbours her property.

rob.kidd@odt.co.nz

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