Maker of fake sex video Welmoed Sijtsma receives conditional community service

Presenter Welmoed Sijtsma at the television program Op1

NOS News

A 39-year-old man from Amersfoort who made and distributed a pornographic deepfake video of presenter Welmoed Sijtsma has been given a conditional community service order of 180 hours. In addition to an unconditional community service order, the Public Prosecution Service had also demanded a conditional prison sentence of two months, but the judge did not agree.

Sijtsma discovered last year that there was a video circulating on the internet in which she appeared to appear. It turned out to be a so-called deepfake porn video. In such a video, images are manipulated with artificial intelligence. Using that technique, the maker stuck Sijtsma’s head on the body of a porn actress who was having sex with a man.

Curious about the technology

During an earlier hearing, the perpetrator expressed remorse. He said he was curious whether he would be able to make a deepfake video himself. He also wanted to know what others thought of it.

The court blames him for that. “He paid little attention to the consequences this could have for the woman. The psychological consequences for victims of whom a deepfake porn video was created and published without consent could be serious and long-lasting.”

Sijtsma tracked down the maker

Sijtsma tracked down the creator of the video himself. In her television series Happiness and sexfakes she delved into the world of fake sex videos. Ultimately, Sijtsma managed to chat with the maker of the sex video in which she appeared.

The judge will take into account the publicity that the perpetrator received and the impact the case has had on him. Therefore, the penalty is lower than the requirement. “The case has taken a heavy toll on the man.”

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