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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Local Review

Teacher Sentenced in Net Extortion Case

March 07, 2000

LOS ANGELES — A Hollywood schoolteacher was sentenced Monday to 60 days under house arrest and forced to give up his home computers after attempting to extort money from an ex-girlfriend by threatening to release nude pictures of her on the Internet, authorities said.

Brian Keith Bailey, 45, of Tarzana posted the pictures online after the woman refused to pay him $8,000, according to Loren Naiman, head of the high-tech crime unit at the district attorney's office.

Bailey pleaded no contest to a felony count of attempted extortion. In addition to the jail sentence and a $5,000 fine, Bailey will not be allowed to have a computer in his home while he is on probation, a period that could last up to five years, Naiman said.

The sentence, rendered in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Van Nuys, could be reduced to a misdemeanor after 18 months, and the probation period could be reduced to three years, authorities said.

Bailey has worked as a teacher at Le Conte Middle School in Hollywood, according to school district officials.

He said Monday in a telephone interview that he committed the crime because his ex-girlfriend refused to repay $5,000 he had loaned her. He said that the photographs were taken about 10 years ago and that he has since married another woman.

"I realize I made a really bad mistake," Bailey said. "I was only trying to get back what was owed to me, and I think I went about it in a really bad way."

Bailey said he got the idea for the scheme after reading about a 1998 case involving radio personality Laura Schlessinger, who lost a court battle to keep nude pictures of her from being released online.

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