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Drag queen sentenced after blackmailing man via Grindr

Drag queen sentenced after blackmailing man via Grindr

Timothy John Ruge

A man in Australia has been sentenced to 220 hours of unpaid community service by a judge after being found guilty of blackmail. Victorian County Court judge Lisa Hannan also placed Timothy Ruge, 35, on a 24-month community corrections order.

Ruge, of Melbourne, met his victim via the dating app, Grindr on 2 March last year.

The two exchanged messages. However, after discovering out his victim was to marry a woman, Ruge threatened to send her screenshots of their messages. Ruge works as a drag queen called Summer Clearance.

‘She’s pretty you cheating bastard,’ said Ruge in one message

Ruge said he would not tell the women if the man paid him AUS$200 (US$142/€125).

They arranged to meet at Southern Cross Station, where the money was handed over. However, shortly afterward, a demand for more money followed. Ruge texted the victim saying he had ‘$1300 to go.’

‘Wow, blackmailing me,’ the victim responded.

‘And then lesson learnt. And I vanish,’ responded Ruge.

‘Please just leave me alone,’ the victim replied. ‘I’ve learnt my lesson, no more being a dick, it was a very expensive lesson.’

At this point, the victim went to the police. While he was at the police station, Ruge left threatening voicemail messages on his phone, which were taken into consideration by the judge.

Police were also able to see the handover of money at the rail station via CCTV footage.

Ruge pleaded guilty to the charges.

‘Mistakes’

Ahead of his sentencing hearing today, he posted a message to Facebook suggesting he had no regrets but acknowledged ‘mistakes.’

‘If I could have my time again I wouldn’t change a thing for Ive know love, I’ve had a laugh and everyday get to sing. my life my journey has had purpose to show how life is something we can truly never know.

‘I like to think from my pain there’s a positive to gain. I believe others will learn and grow without making the same mistakes I’ve made there own. Tomorrow when that hammer comes down I will except my consequences from the crown.’

Timothy John Ruge Facebook posting
(Image: Facebook)

At the time of the incident, Ruge was homeless and had a crystal meth (‘ice’) habit, reports Australian Associated Press. He used Grindr to meet men who could offer him a bed for the night.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports Ruge saying he had ‘a heart of gold,’ and acknowleding the blackmail ‘was not one of my finest moments.’

‘In my view it’s clear that your motivation was money and you saw a soft target, that is, a man who wished to keep his sexual preferences and activities confidential,’ said Judge Hannan.

She criticized him for showing no remorse during his initial interviews with police. He instead took the ‘perceived moral high ground.’

She said Ruge had narrowly avoided jail on this occasion but if he breached his corrections order, he would be locked up.

‘You were very close to finding yourself in jail today.

‘You breach this order and it’s like holding your hand up and saying ‘send me to jail’.

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