Twinsburg High School of Ohio is the latest school to be hit by a teen nude photos scandal. Twinsburg police are investigating how the high school girls’ naked photos managed to find their way onto a Tumblr blog for all the world to see. Authorities have confirmed that 10 of the 14 nude girls posted on the Tumblr blog ranged in age from 15- to 17-years-old. These 10 girls have been verified as Twinsburg High School students, although court records note that some of the sexting photos only provided the girl’s first name.
Twinsburg police say the Tumblr blog was called “tburgnudez,” and it used the headline “Only Girlz.” The Tumblr page has been shut down, but Cleveland.com recorded a message which explained the stated purpose of the blog.
“This tumblr blog is a page where people from twinsburg, Ohio can look, see, and save twinsburg girl nudez. Twinsburg has a lot of sexy people but it’s really rare to get there nudez if they send some out. Here is an ez way to et them without trading or buying them from someone. Please enjoy what I have worked so hard to make and expose. Thank you for your support. NUDE ON!!”
Law enforcement officers first became aware of the high school’s nude photos after a school official “reported to the school resource officer that there may be a website posting nude photos of the students.” Investigators believe the nude photos were voluntarily sent to one person via texting or Snapchat. The sexting was not supposed to be shared with the public, but the person who initially receive them forwarded the photos to another person. This second individual took screenshots of the photos and uploaded the photos to the nude Tumblr blog without the permission of the original sender.
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The Ohio police have requested “all archived posts, internal messages, deleted material, photographs posted on the blog, internet protocol addresses for the last five people to log into the blog and the IP address for anyone sending messages to and from the blog, according to court records.”
— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) February 7, 2016
The Twinsburg High School scandal proves just how vulnerable anyone can be if they choose to make nude photos of themselves. In addition, some states have child pornography laws where a teen who creates and sends a nude photo can be criminally prosecuted as a sex offender.
Federal law prohibits the production, distribution, reception, and possession of an image of child pornography using or affecting any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce (See 18 U.S.C. § 2251; 18 U.S.C. § 2252; 18 U.S.C. § 2252A). There have been cases in the past in both the United States and England where teenagers have been arrested and charged for taking and sharing nude selfies with friends.
For example, a Pennsylvania case involving teens sexting each other resulted in each teen receiving a felony pornography charge. There’s even been cases where an underage boyfriend and girlfriend only shared the offending photos between themselves, but when they later went public, the two were charged as sex offenders.
Based upon the former case, Perry County District Attorney Charles Chenot argued that giving teenagers criminal charges was appropriate.
“Take a photograph of yourself or somebody else nude and send it to somebody else, you’ve committed the crime. That was the only charge that really fits what they were doing,” said Chenot. “What would have been the best thing to charge would be something that would have been a little less severe but would still draw these teenagers’ attention to the wrongness of their acts.”
No arrests have been made related to Twinsburg High School’s nude photos as of this publishing.
[Image via HomeWord]