A Sydney man is facing up to three years in jail after allegedly posting a series of offensive comments online about a woman whose Tinder dating profile went viral.
Zane Alchin, 25, pleaded guilty and was charged with using a carrier service to menace, harass or cause offense after he allegedly wrote a series of degrading comments directed towards Olivia Melville after her Tinder profile was shared online by another man named Chris Hall.
He previously denied the offense but changed his plea on Monday at Newtown Court, in Sydney.
The comment was prompted from a lyric in Melville’s Tinder bio from rapper Drake’s hit song ‘Only,’ reading: “Type of girl that will suck you dry and then eat some lunch with you”.
Hall posted a screenshot from Melville’s profile to his own Facebook account and wrote next to it “Stay classy ladies. I’m surprised she’d still be hungry for lunch.” Alchin then left a series of comments on his friend Hall’s post that many found offensive.
One of Alchin’s comments said: “It’s people like you who make it clear women should never have been given rights,” the Daily Mail reports.
“You know the best thing about a feminist they don’t get any action so when you rape them it feels 100 times tighter,” he also wrote. An argument broke out in the comments with women pointing out his comments were disgusting, and Alchin wrote “I’d rape you if you were better looking.”
Another post said: “It’s people like you who make it clear women should never have been given rights,” suggesting they should be taken back to the ’50s were women ‘knew their role and shut their damn mouth.‘”
Melville, the woman with the Tinder profile, reportedly attempted to ask Hall to remove the post but when he refused, it prompted her to share the post on her own Facebook page.
When her friends became aware of the post they started to share it and accused Hall of “s*** shaming” their friend and they decided to take action. The friends set up Sexual Violence Won’t Be Silenced and now have over 11,000 likes on the page.
In the exchange, Paloma Brierly Newton threatened to go to the police if the comments continued.
“What law am I breaking? I’m not the one out of the fucking kitchen,” Alchin replied.
Apparently, the answer to that question was section 474.17 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act, which carries a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment.
“This result demonstrates that there is a precedent in Australian law that says this behaviour is unacceptable,” the group wrote on its Facebook page on Monday.
“It means that harassing women online is not only legally reprehensible, but socially and morally as well.
“Our victory today sends a message to all women that they don’t have to put up with harassment online; that there are steps and channels they can take, and that Australian law is on their side.”
One Facebook user posted to the page: “Alchin covered his face with a suit jacket as he left the court, while a man accompanying him told reporters and photographers: ‘This is harassment’. Oh the irony!”
Alchin will be sentenced on July 29 and faces up to three years in jail.