A Flemish court on Thursday sentenced a couple to 18 and 10 months imprisonment for blackmailing a sex worker and some of her most prominent clients, which included a Flemish mayor and a member of the Flemish regional parliament.
Erwin P. (61) and his wife, Hilde D. (60), were found guilty of blackmailing a 36-year-old sex worker from Antwerp by threatening to divulge pictures and footage of her with her clients unless she payed them a hefty sum of money, according to Belgian media.
The couple began their blackmailing out of revenge after it surfaced that Erwin had had a relationship with the sex worker. The footage was captured by Erwin, who had renovated the sex worker’s apartment and had secretly embedded cameras into her room.
In 2015 the couple left a USB stick in the sex worker's letterbox which contained photos and videos of herself and her clients. They claimed that they would scatter naked pictures of her throughout her neighbourhood, and leave naked pictures of her in her parents’ letterbox and in her son’s nursery.
Other clients of the sex worker were also drawn into the blackmailing, as the couple threatened to expose her prominent clients — including an unidentified Flemish member of parliament and a Mayor — by releasing videos of their encounters.
After several months of threats, the sex worker filed a complaint after the couple told the sex worker that if she did not pay €10,000 into their account by the end of summer 2015, all the films would be made public.
The sex worker, who was not present at the verdict, was awarded a compensation of €2,500. On top of their sentences, Erwin and Hilde paid a €600 fine each.
With regard to the sex worker’s clients, including the Flemish Member of Parliament and the mayor, they did not file a civil action because they wanted to maintain their anonymity.
The Brussels Times