A Melbourne man has avoided jail time after he blackmailed and extorted money from an engaged Grindr user he threatened to “out” to his fiancee.
On Friday, Timothy Ruge was ordered to serve a 24-month community corrections order and complete 220 hours of unpaid community work by a Victorian County Court judge, 9 News reported.
Last year, Ruge pleaded guilty to blackmail for trying to extort $1500 from the man who had struck up a conversation with him on the app.
Ruge sent the victim a photo of him and his female fiancee – which Ruge had found on social media – and sent the victim a series of messages threatening to reveal their interactions to the victim’s fiancee.
“She’s pretty you cheating bastard,” Ruge texted the victim.
“I’ll keep ya secret ya little dirty cheating immoral little bitch.”
“What do you want me to do? How did you find me?” the victim replied.
“Cardless cash me $500 now then $500 in 30 mins ARE WE CLEAR.”
When the victim replied that his fiancee handled the couple’s finances, Ruge texted, “Tick tock I’ll ask her for it then, shall I. Tick tock.”
Ruge demanded that the victim meet with him and hand over money at Southern Cross station in Docklands, Melbourne last March.
The victim met Ruge and handed over $200 but he then demanded $1300 more, leaving the victim a barrage of “menacing” voice mails. The victim called police, fearing for his fiancee’s safety.
The Victorian County Court earlier heard that Timothy Ruge told police he had “a heart of gold” and was on a “crusade” to stop cheaters and bring down divorce rates, but acknowledged the incident “was not one of my finest moments”.
But Judge Lisa Hannan told Ruge’s lawyer she didn’t accept what Ruge had told police.
“He tries to paint himself as some type of moral guardian where he is blackmailing someone,” the judge said.
QN Magazine | For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.