crimesider

Gone Too Far: Did Internet Star Johnathan Hock Rape Woman Live On Web?

(MySpace)
Johnathon Richard Hock, 21

PHOENIX (CBS/AP) Nude photos, voyeur videos, a worldwide web without boundaries. And now this.

Johnathon Richard Hock had made a name for himself on the internet by posting racy items and photos, including sexually explicit images of himself. But Hock took it to a whole new level, police say, when he sexually assaulted an unconscious woman while "broadcasting" it live for all to see online.

Hock, 21, assaulted the woman he'd been dating for about two weeks after she became drunk and passed out at her home, police say. The alleged Feb. 26 assault was streamed live and two still images were posted on another Web site, according to court documents.

Hock had over 1 million "fans" on the sites, including Hollywood starlets.

But in a new defense motion, Hock's attorney says the recording of the incident shows "no sexual assault."

Attorney Bruce Blumberg also wrote that his client's "Internet fame gave rise to enemies who were jealous of him, including the man who turned over the recording to Phoenix police, and they took advantage of the situation to spread false rumors," according to the Arizona Daily Star.

The risqué internet video doesn't show any sexual penetration, which, in Arizona, must occur for sexual assault charges, Blumberg argues.

(Ada County Sheriff Office)
Photo: Johnathon Richard Hock in a 2007 booking photo.

Viewers who watched the video online told police it showed Hock performing oral sex on the unconscious woman, according to a court document. Police declined to discuss the video's contents, saying only that it depicted a sexual assault.

Phoenix police Detective James Holmes said they had learned of the broadcast from the woman, who found out about it from friends who had seen it.

"This is terrible, and this is what I'll say about the Internet and cell phones and texting and sexting and Twittering and blogging -- this is very, very dangerous," Holmes said. "I really, really hate to say this, and this sounds bad, but a situation like this is inevitable the way things have been going."

He said the woman is "humiliated, she's embarrassed." Holmes said he's not sure whether Hock's girlfriend knew about his online life. Hock is the subject of fan sites and anti-Hock sites and there are even Hock imitators.

Steven Fruchter, CEO at Stickam.com, the real-time Web video site where the alleged assault was streamed live, said the broadcast was ended immediately after the site was notified and that Stickam.com is investigating how site monitors handled it.

"When the violation was immediately found, the alleged perpetrator was banned and we have an open line of communication with the authorities to provide any data they require," the statement read.

According to the Arizona Daily Star, Hock had a risqué show on Stickam.com, and Hock's lawyer described him as "the modern-day equivalent of a street performer."

Two still images were posted on another Web site, StickyDrama.com, an online tabloid following popular Internet personalities.

Christopher Stone, co-owner and administrator of StickyDrama.com, said he recorded the Stickam.com broadcast because he recognized it as a crime and turned it over to Phoenix police.

Parry Aftab, founder and executive director of WiredSafety.org, a New York-based cyber-neighborhood watch group, said that although the broadcast of the alleged sexual assault is no longer on Stickam.com, it will always be available online somewhere.

"Once somebody grabs it, it moves," she said. "It's like trying to catch a river in your hand."

While police continue to search though computer hard drives and servers, no other video evidence against Hock has been disclosed as of last week's filing, according to the Daily Star.

Hock is being held without bail on two counts of sexual assault and one count of voyeurism.

Hock lives with his mother in the Phoenix suburb of Surprise.

  • Ryan Smith

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