YouTuber Acid will not appeal harassment conviction

Belgian YouTuber Acid has decided not to appeal his conviction for harassment. Nathan Vandergunst, 24, was given a three-month suspended prison sentence and fined 800 euros after making a video about the Reuzegom fraternity.

Vandergunst published his video on 31 May 2023 following the trial concerning the death of Sanda Dia, the student who died after a deadly hazing ritual by Reuzegom, a now-disbanded Flemish fraternity at KU Leuven. 

In the video, Vandergunst mentioned several Reuzegom members by name and shared personal information about them. YouTube eventually took the video offline.

Considering the sentencing against the fraternity members to be too light, Vandergunst vented his outrage on his online platform, which has half a million viewers. 

Vandergunst appeared in court on charges including harassment, invasion of privacy and defamation

"When the law is no longer a synonym for justice, citizens have the right to know who will be their future politicians, lawyers or dentists," he said, pledging to expose those involved in Dia's death.

The video also featured a former Reuzegom member who was not involved in the fatal hazing. The person's parents, who run a restaurant in Antwerp, were suddenly subjected to fake reservations and negative online reviews of their business. 

The former member and his parents served a direct summons and Vandergunst appeared in court on 18 January on charges including harassment, invasion of privacy, electronic harassment and defamation. 

"I am not the criminal here, I have done nothing wrong"

The Bruges criminal court sentenced Vandergunst to three months' suspended imprisonment and a fine of 800 euros. Walter Van Steenbrugge, Vandergunst's lawyer, initially announced that the verdict would be appealed. Vandergunst himself has since decided not to do so. 

"It's time to stop everything here," he said in a new video on Monday, adding he had been unable to sleep for weeks because of the case. He continues to insist his punishment is unjust. "I am not the criminal here, I have done nothing wrong," he said. 


#FlandersNewsService | Nathan Vandergunst T the sentencing session at the Bruges Criminal Court on 22 February 2024 © BELGA PHOTO KURT DESPLENTER

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