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Celebrity Nude Photo Hack: Ryan Collins Charged With Accessing Accounts Of More Than 100 Famous Women

Jennifer Lawrence said her photos being taken was a 'sex crime'.

16/03/2016 09:17 GMT

A 36-year-old man is set to plead guilty to hacking the email and online accounts of more than 100 female celebrities and stealing nude photos.

Ryan Collins, from Pennsylvania in the US, has been charged after naked photos, videos and private information of dozens of celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton, were stolen and posted online.

John Shearer via Getty Images
Lawrence said the hacking made her 'so afraid'

Lawrence called the stealing and releasing of the images a "sex crime" and told Vanity Fair: "I was just so afraid. I didn’t know how this would affect my career."

Collins is accused of gaining access to Google and Apple accounts, many belonging to famous women, between November 2012 and September 2014. He is not suspected of being involved in releasing the images.

He has agreed to plead guilty to one count of gaining unauthorised access to a protected computer to obtain information, the US Attorney's Office said.

Collins tricked his victims into giving up information about their accounts, using phishing emails that appeared to come directly from Apple and Google, according to prosecutors.

In some cases, he was able to obtain every file that his victims had stored online, including the naked photos and videos.

No celebrities are identified in a plea agreement, which was filed on Tuesday, and there is no evidence Collins posted any of the images online, the Attorney's Office said.

Steve Granitz via Getty Images
Model Kate Upton also had private material hacked

Information on Collins’ legal team was not immediately available, the Associated Press reported.

The investigation into who stole and posted the images of Lawrence and dozens of other female stars is ongoing.

In February, a man from Oregon agreed to plead guilty to stealing nude or explicit images from 13 people, including some unidentified celebrities. Andrew Helton from Astoria, Oregon, faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced on 2 June.

Authorities have said Helton is not suspected of being involved in the theft of the images of Lawrence and others.

Prosecutors in Los Angeles have also obtained convictions of several men accused of stealing nude images, including images of Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis. They also prosecuted the man who surreptitiously videotaped US television sports reporter Erin Andrews in her hotel room and posted the video online. Michael David Barrett was sentenced to 27 months in prison in the case.