Resident Magistrate Georgianna Fraser yesterday described the allegations against accused computer hacker Ronald Oates as an "insidious offence".
"It is so insidious an offence that it is worse than someone holding me up with a gun and robbing me of my handbag," Fraser said as Oates made his first court appearance in the case.
But in response, Oates' attorney Zara Lewis cautioned that "these are mere allegations".
"He pleads not guilty," Lewis insisted.
The exchange came as Lewis sought bail for Oates, but the magistrate denied the application.
The 27-year-old accused, who is charged with several breaches of the Cybercrimes and Larceny acts, was remanded until September 18 when the case will again be mentioned.
He is accused of being the "main player" behind a computer hacking scheme that sought to extort money from individuals whose nude pictures were removed from personal electronic devices without consent.
In outlining the allegations in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday, Clerk of the Court Hansurd Lawson said two persons, a male and a female, complained that Oates hacked into their email accounts and removed a number of nude pictures.
According to Lawson, Oates then attempted to extort money from both individuals, threatening that the pictures would be sent to persons on their email contact list if the money was not paid over.
He said the woman refused to pay and her picture was posted on three websites investigators believe are linked to Oates.
He said the alleged hacker also contacted the male complainant and demanded $100,000 not to post his pictures on the Internet.
He said Oates' identity was discovered when he accompanied the man to a Corporate Area financial institution to withdraw the money under the watchful eyes of undercover detectives.
Days later, he was picked up at his home in east Kingston, where investigators said they also found computers, cellphones, thumb drives, wireless modems and telephone SIM cards.
Lawson said during a forensic examination, police investigators found pictures of both complainants on the equipment removed from Oates' home.
He said the police also found the telephone that was allegedly used to place the calls to the complainants demanding money.
But Lewis insisted that there was "no nexus" between her client and the phone.