2009-02-06 / Top Stories

Internet Perv Gets Five Years

By Nicholas Briano

A former Rockaway Park man who posted nude photos of his ex-wife online and pled guilty in December for the crime was sentenced to up to five years in prison this week for firstdegree identity theft and first-degree criminal contempt.

Thomas Gillen, 46, who recently lived in Maryland, was sentenced to 2 1/2 to 5 years in prison on Tuesday at Queens Criminal Court. He was originally sent to jail in February, 2008 for posting his ex-wife's pictures online for a second time. The offense was a violation of an earlier plea deal from 2006, when he had first committed the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

"The defendant in this case subjected his former wife to despicable behavior that left her fearful and vulnerable," Brown said. "The psychological scars she suffered will be with her for a lifetime. The sentence imposed is more than warranted."

According to Brown, as part of Gillen's December guilty plea, he admitted that between November 2007 and July 2008, while in violation of the original plea deal, he assumed the identity of his ex-wife more than 1500 times on the Internet, in order to contact various men and engage in sexual conversations. In addition, he sent nude photos of her to them.

He also pled guilty to being in criminal contempt of a court order for violating the terms of a 2007 order of protection in which he was ordered to attend counseling and not impersonate his former wife by posting nude photos or pretending to be her on the Internet.

He had been sentenced to five years probation in the 2007 case.

In 2006, Gillen pled guilty to felony identity theft and was sentenced to five years probation in September of 2007. Court sources say that he failed to meet the requirements of his probation, skipping meetings with his probation officer and failing to attend sex offender classes.

A warrant was then issued for his arrest and, after a high-speed chase, Gillen was found sleeping by Pennsylvania State Police in a motel in Chambersburg, and arrested and detained by that state's police department.

Gillen pled guilty earlier this year to violating that probation and was sentenced to one to three years in prison, which will run parallel to the sentence he receives in February.

The defendant was apprehended with the assistance of the Pennsylvania State Police and brought back to New York City to be prosecuted.

His ex-wife, whose identity remains anonymous, is relieved that justice was served.

"Thomas Gillen had me fearing for my life and for those dearest to me. He manipulated me into marrying him by threatening me," she told the court.

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