GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Grand Rapids man who posted nude images of his ex-girlfriend online was sentenced to a year in jail for what the judge called a “chilling’’ breach of trust.

“What you did is engage in revenge porn,’’ Judge Curt Benson told 25-year-old Brett J. Vanderwall. “It’s chilling what a breach of trust that was.’’

Vanderwall appeared in Kent County Circuit Court this week to be sentenced for capturing/distributing an image of an unclothed person. It’s a five-year felony.

Police say he posted to the internet nude images of his former girlfriend in early March after they broke up. The young woman told police she did not know how Vanderwall got the nude images; they were taken without her consent. 

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Grand Rapids police were able to locate the images, which have since been removed.

Vanderwall apologized during a court appearance on Thursday, Sept. 26. He said he and the victim had a “very loving relationship.’’

“I’m really ashamed of the route I took when we split up,’’ Vanderwall said. “There were factors that came into play, but none of it should have mattered.’’

Defense attorney Norman Miller asked the judge for leniency.

“I think his emotions got the better of him; that’s what led to the conduct in this case,’’ Miller said.

Benson was not swayed.

“There’s a big part of me that wants to send you to prison,’’ the judge told Vanderwall.

He sentenced Vanderwall to a year in the Kent County jail and put him on probation for five years. If Vanderwall violates terms of probation, prison is still an option. The judge also ordered Vanderwall to pay a $5,000 fine - the maximum possible.

“Revenge porn is a problem in society,’’ Benson said. “And to the extent that I can send a message from this court that it won’t be tolerated, I will be happy to send that message.’’

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