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Man Caught Taking Candid Photos Of College Women And Posting Them To Porn Site

04/23/2015 08:15 pm ET | Updated Apr 23, 2015

On Monday, the University of Hawaii at Manoa warned students about a man who was taking photos of women and posting them to a porn website.

According to Hawaii News Now, the man posted candid photos of 140 women and identified them on the site as students at UH Manoa. All the women were fully clothed, and there were dozens of photos of each woman.

The photographer assigned each woman a number in the photo captions, such as "University of Hawaii Student #7." Most of the photos were taken at a bus stop near a university library.

Two women notified campus officials of the photos on Monday, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The university's security department sent a campus-wide warning to students that described the suspect as an Asian male in his mid-20s.

On Tuesday, officials at UH Manoa's Department of Safety announced that they had identified a person of interest and were working with the Honolulu police.

The photos were removed from the website at some point prior to Tuesday morning, according to the Star-Advertiser.

One woman, whose photos were published on the site and who wished to remain anonymous, told The Huffington Post that she feels "extremely violated and disheartened to be yet another victim of sexual harassment." When she found the photos online, she said, she was "completely overcome with mixed feelings of anger and hopelessness. It was disturbing to see four pages of my photos and to see that I was labeled as if I were some scored object."

Myles Breiner, a defense attorney, told Hawaii News Now that because the women were in a public area and were fully clothed, the photographer did not break any laws.

"The fact of the matter is, there's nothing illegal," Breiner told HNN. "Unless there's some economic loss, simply someone saying something mean or inappropriate about you, unless you can show damages, there's not a lot you can do."

The woman whose photos were posted on the site said that it was disappointing that the photographer's actions are considered legal.

"It's not the photos that are offensive, it's the manner in which they are being used that is without doubt sexual harassment," she told HuffPost. "We were placed on a porn website without consent and were then continuously looked upon by other viewers who used us for nothing but twisted sexual pleasure. This was an act of violence against women that needs to be recognized as such."

Linda Hamilton Krieger, a professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law at UH Manoa, told reporters this week that the women who were photographed would likely be able to file civil cases against the photographer.

The woman who spoke to HuffPost, however, found that advice unsatisfying, arguing instead that the university should pursue legal action on behalf of the photographed women. Telling the women to file civil cases on their own, she said, is "disappointing."

"Instructing victims like me to file this as a civil case tells me that this sexual harassment is a personal problem and I need to deal with it on my own," she told HuffPost. "It is not."

Daniel Meisenzahl, a spokesman for the university, said the school is doing its own investigation of the person of interest identified by the safety department.

"We are by no means sitting on our hands or washing our hands of this," Meisenzahl told HuffPost. "Law enforcement was contacted the moment we realized that website was up."

"I can't confirm any information about this person of interest because it could hurt the investigation, but if this person were a student, they'd be subject to... expulsion," he went on. "If the person was an employee... they could be subject for termination. If this person is someone walking around campus, we could issue restraining orders and arrest this person if they were ever to come on campus again, as far as trespassing."

According to a banner on its front page, the website where the photos appeared offers "free porn pics on the biggest adult hoster [sic]." It allows anyone age 18 or older to upload content anonymously. There are more than 1 million photo galleries on the site, which includes a "voyeur" section, among other pornographic categories. The website encourages viewers to "leave a sexy comment" under the photos.

The website also contains a list of rules about what type of content can be submitted. The list restricts "content posted for malevolent purposes, including libel, slander, or harassment," as well as any material that includes minors.

"We have always been very tolerant and open minded about what is posted," the website's rules page reads. "Needless to say that we are not so open minded about anything we consider illegal."

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