Teens Could Face Child Porn Charges in Sexting Scandal
ETIWANDA, Calif. (KTLA) — A sexting scandal at two San Bernardino County schools could result in criminal charges for the students involved, authorities said.
A sophomore boy at Etiwanda High School allegedly tweeted nude photos of at least four underage girls from nearby Rancho Cucamonga High School, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
“She’s not really speaking at all,” Yesena Castaneda, a classmate of one of the girls, told KTLA. “She’s just keeping to herself. I know she’s scared.”
The boy’s alleged actions created more than Twitter drama, however.
The sheriff’s department was investigating the incident as a suspected case of child pornography, spokeswoman Jodi Miller said.
But it wasn’t just the teenage boy who might have committed a felony, authorities said.
Any underage girl who takes a nude self-portrait and texts it from her phone is committing the same crime, Miller said.
Fellow students said they believed the boy collected the nude photos from the girls’ ex-boyfriends, and then sent them out in order to gain popularity on Twitter.
“It was a trending topic on Twitter. People were just feeding into it,” one student said. “When you feed onto Twitter drama, it just gets out of control.”
Sheriff’s Investigators obtained search warrants to identify the location from where the images were sent, and whether the male student sent them.
Teen sexting, bullying and other cruel or inappropriate uses of social media has led the Chaffey Joint Union High School district to try to educate students with campaigns and classes in recent years.
“It could mean not getting a job. It could mean some sort of a crime is committed and they have to face the penalties of that,” said Superintendent Mat Holton.
“But most importantly, we try to share that an inappropriate text or photo or video that is sent can be extremely hurtful to someone else,” he said.