Man Sentenced for Creating Deepfake Porn Video of TV Presenter Welmoed Sijtsma

 A 39-year-old man from Amersfoort was given a conditional community service sentence of 180 hours by a court in Amsterdam on Thursday for producing and circulating a deepfake pornographic video featuring TV presenter and journalist Welmoed Sijtsma.

Identified as O.K., the individual utilized footage of Sijtsma to fabricate a pornographic video using deepfake technology. This involved superimposing Sijtsma's face onto the body of a porn actress engaged in a sexual act, which was then shared on a dedicated website for such content. Following his arrest in November 2022, O.K. confessed to both creating and disseminating the video.

Describing the video as "shocking and tasteless," the court condemned its creation for grossly violating Sijtsma's "sexual autonomy and sexual privacy."

Aware of the fake pornographic video circulating online, Sijtsma produced a four-part docuseries titled "Welmoed and the Sex Fakes" for broadcaster WNL on NPO3. Through the assistance of an IT investigator, she successfully identified O.K. as the perpetrator.

While the Public Prosecution Service sought a 120-hour community service and a two-month conditional prison sentence, the court considered O.K.'s personal circumstances, particularly his voluntary engagement in behavioral treatment.

The defense argued for O.K.'s acquittal or the dismissal of charges, contending that deepfake technology is not explicitly criminalized under Article 139h of the Criminal Code, which primarily addresses revenge porn.

However, the court disagreed, asserting that deepfake images could indeed fall under this article, especially if they appear deceptively realistic to the general public, regardless of whether the depicted individual recognizes them as manipulated.


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