England’s first convicted ‘cyber-flasher’ sentenced to 5 years

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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.

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

A man uses his smartphone in the dark

Convicted sex offender Nicholas Hawkes was the first person in England and Wales convicted of violating the Online Safety Act. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images)

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.

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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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