Zane Alchin is expected to plead guilty. Photo: Nick MoirMan charged over slut shaming, harassment of Sydney woman for her Tinder profile
A Sydney man will likely plead guilty to harassing women who defended their friend from online slut-shaming, a court has heard.
Zane Alchin, 25, appeared before Newtown Local Court on Thursday, charged with using a carriage service to menace, harass or offend.
His lawyer indicated Mr Alchin was expected to plead guilty to the crime, which carries a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment.
Mr Alchin allegedly committed the offence on a Facebook thread about the online abuse of Sydney woman Olivia Melville.
A photo of Ms Melville’s profile on the dating app Tinder had been uploaded to Facebook. Her profile caption quoted a lyric by the hip-hop artist Drake: “Type of girl who will suck you dry and then eat some lunch with you.”
Ms Melville was derided online by strangers. Her friends responded by reposting the original post and criticising the commenters for their attitudes toward women.
Mr Alchin is accused of harassing these friends in ranting, obscene comments, writing at one point “[sic] your all f—ing basic sluts”.
He also allegedly referred to “the best thing about raping feminists”. Fairfax Media has chosen not to publish other, more explicit messages in the series.
The alleged targets of the abuse told media they had reported the messages to police, who initially “offered little support to our case”.
They then began a Facebook group called “Sexual Violence Won’t Be Silenced”, which gained more than 8000 followers. Their petition to the governments of NSW and for tighter laws and more resources to tackle online harassment gathered more than 15,000 signatures.
Mr Alchin was charged on Monday. “We would like to thank the Newtown Local Police for their hard work on this case,” the group wrote on Facebook.
“Not every person who experiences online violence has the time, resources or support network to start a campaign after being harassed. That’s why, regardless of the outcome of this legal case, SVWBS will continue to fight for better laws, training and education surrounding online harassment.”
Mr Alchin’s matter will return to court on December 8.