Cody Pratt was trying to boost his reputation among his army mates by showing them a video of a woman performing a sex act.
Cody Pratt was trying to boost his reputation among his army mates by showing them a video of a woman performing a sex act.

Army revenge porn grub punished

A "braggart" army officer who showed his mates a photo of a woman he had sexually "hogtied" and a video of her performing oral sex on him while he watched The Wolf of Wall Street has been booted from the military and has narrowly avoided jail.

Brisbane-based Cody Pratt, 23, was on Wednesday convicted of six counts of distributing an intimate image without consent and was dismissed from the Australian Defence Force.

At a hearing in Canberra, Defence Force Magistrate Brigadier Michael Cowen QC said Pratt's "self aggrandisement", by showing the private homemade pornography to his army mates got worse as time went by.

The worst instance, Brigadier Cowen said, was when Pratt in a November 2019 drinking session at Crown Casino in Melbourne, showed another officer, Lieutenant Cameron Gibbs, a photo of the woman sexually "hogtied".

Pratt had sent the woman a text message a month earlier saying: "Everything has been deleted. You have my word. I'm sorry."

Brigadier Cowen said: "These were the acts of a braggart, self-aggrandisement … to, in a rather perverse way, improve your standing with your colleagues."

Pratt would likely have been sent away for a stint in civilian prison had he sent the images to anyone else, rather than showing them to his mates, Brigadier Cowen said.

He said Pratt's crimes would have a lasting impact on his victim.

Lieutenant Cody Pratt (right) pictured during last summer’s bushfire season.
Lieutenant Cody Pratt (right) pictured during last summer’s bushfire season.

"They (Pratt's mates) have seen things which cannot be unseen," he said.

The saga left Pratt's victim feeling humiliated and as if she had been treated like a piece of meat, the court heard.

Brigadier Cowen said it didn't take military training "for people to understand, in the wider community, that this behaviour is morally repugnant, and now, in all states and territories, a criminal offence".

He said Pratt was unlikely to break the law again, and had "a lot to offer … just not with the army".

Pratt's crimes meant he could not be respected in the way army officers needed to be, he said.

Being booted from the army was, in effect, a dishonourable discharge which would leave Pratt's reputation in tatters and might make it hard for him to get work as a civilian, Brigadier Cowen said.

Pratt, in a letter to the court, said he was now sorry for what he had done, but Brigadier Cowen said he only started feeling that way when his offending was reported to military investigators and his conduct "came crashing down" on him.

Pratt's dismissal will not take effect until a mandatory review by a judge, but he will be suspended from the army until then.

Originally published as Army's Wolf of Wall Street revenge porn grub punished



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