The 46-year-old Ontario man was charged with defamatory libel after it was alleged he sent out nude and pornographic pictures of his ex-girlfriend after the couple broke up.
Yesterday, police in Durham Region, just east of Toronto, announced the man has been taken into custody. The accused's name is not being released to protect the identity of the victim.
After the two began dating in 2010, the woman sent the man several pictures of her taken on her cellphone. Police describe these photos as being pornographic in nature. The couple ended their relationship last month.
The 46-year-old is alleged to have sent these pictures to the woman's friends and family. He is also accused of sending the photos to his ex-girlfriend's workplace. The photographs were distributed by means of email and in text messages. After what police describe as a "brief delay," the woman reported the incident to police.
Earlier this month the man was charged with one count the rarely used offence of defamatory libel. While libel is usually thought of as a matter for civil courts, it can in some circumstances constitute a crime. Section 298(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada defines a defamatory libel as "matter published, without lawful justification or excuse, that is likely to injure the reputation of any person by exposing him to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or that is designed to insult the person of or concerning whom it is published."
Section 299 defines "publish" as including "causing it to be read or seen; or shows or delivers it, or causes it to be shown or delivered, with intent that it should be read or seen by the person whom it defames or by any other person."
Section 301 states that anyone who publishes a defamatory libel is "guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years."
Durham Regional Police are warning the public to prevent this type of crime by not engaging in "risky behaviour" via social media.
The man was held for a bail hearing.