The first ‘cyber-flasher’ convicted under England’s new law is sent to prison for more than 5 years


LONDON (AP) — England’s first convicted cyber-flasher was sentenced Tuesday to 5 1/2 years in prison.

Nicholas Hawkes, 39, a convicted sex offender who sent unsolicited photos of his genitals to a girl and a woman, was the first person in England and Wales convicted of violating the Online Safety Act.

Hawkes admitted at an earlier hearing that in February he sent a photograph or film of genitals with intent to cause alarm, distress, or humiliation.

The woman who received the photos in February took screenshots and reported him to police.

Hawkes was on the sex offenders register after being convicted last year of exposure and sexual activity with a child under 16. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to breaching both a community order and suspended sentence he had received for the earlier offense.

The cyber-flashing law that went into effect Jan. 31 makes it an offense to send unsolicited sexual images by social media, dating apps, or technologies such as Bluetooth or Airdrop.

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