CEDAR FALLS – An Ankeny man has been arrested under a new sexploitation charge after he allegedly sold nude photos of his ex-girlfriend from Cedar Falls.
Authorities allege that after the breakup, Devin Jamal Helms, 21, pretended to be the woman in the photos and distributed the images through social media accounts, collecting money through the Venmo app.
“We are finding this to be quite common, that people are selling their photos and other people's photos,” said Capt. Jeff Sitzmann with the Cedar Falls Police Department.
He said people use social media accounts to post partially revealing photos and offering to release the full photos -- for a price.
In the Cedar Falls case, police said Helms had a relationship with the woman for a few months in 2019, and the two exchanged photos, according to court records.
After the relationship ended, Helms allegedly set up a social media account under a made-up name. He used the account to sell fully nude photos of the woman without her consent, court records state.
Sitzmann said friends of the woman eventually saw the photos, and Cedar Falls police were notified about the incident in May 2020. Investigators tracked the money and found Helms’ bank account at the end, he said.
“We are able to get that Venmo account’s information. Venmo accounts are associated with a bank account,” he said.