The family of a 14-year-old teenager have sued a TV station for the alleged report of leaking the video showing his erect penis on youtube.
The Colorado based TV station, KOAA, first made contact with the boy two years ago when he made claims that he was being blackmailed.
According to the lawsuit filed in court, Heather Richardson, the girlfriend of the boy’s father, contacted the station two years ago to report the news station that the teenager was being sextorted.
Nakedsecurity reports that the case accuses the TV station (KOAA), its reporter, the assignment manager, the program director, a news anchor, NBC, and Comcast. The alleged crimes are violating federal child pornography laws, invasion of privacy, and negligence.
KOAA sent the journalist, Matthew Prichard, to the family’s home in Pueblo, Colorado, to interview the boy and collect the images of the alleged sextortion.
On their breaking news story, on February 24, 2014, the station broadcasted a news segment that showed the teen’s penis, an image of which had been used to extort him. Additionally, they also labelled his name above it and showed an image of his Facebook page, showing his name, friends, and contacts.
The chief concern of the family was that the graphic images of the boy had gone online, with reporter Matt Prichard interviewing him for a “sexting gone wrong” story.
The reporter, according to the family, had deceived them, as he was allowed to interview the teenager on the condition that his identity would not be disclosed.
The family claims that, not only are the nude pictures of the boy on YouTube, his name is also hovering over his picture.
The Mirror reports that the president of KOAA, speaking to Ars Technica, said the story was one of many his station does on “the dangers of sexting and cell phone security.”
He added the following.
“At the specific request of the victim’s father, we ran a story two years ago about his son being blackmailed over a cell phone video. While we are unable to discuss the specifics of this recently filed litigation, we will defend ourselves against unfounded accusations.”
The lawsuit mentions that the boy along with his family were forced to find residence in another state as a result of the video.
The lawsuit also says that the boy has suffered a severe emotional damage from the outbreak of the story. He was extremely embarrassed by it, and he is still recovering from the loss of friends, alienation, depression, self-esteem problems, transfer of schools, and education facilities. The suit also adds there are “other damages related to the mental and brain development of minor children.”
His parents also had to endure a lot, according to the lawsuit, they lost their employment, income and their home. Having been forced to flee from their residence only added woes to the already suffering boy.
It still remains unclear why the boy’s family decided to file the lawsuit two years after the incident.
On being questioned, the family’s attorney, Matthew Schneide, said he was ” not authorized to say anything.”
KOAA President Evan Pappas reasoned that the story was only one of many that the station has run about “the dangers of sexting and cell phone security.” He also made implications that the accusations by the boy (he did not specify the details) were completely “unfounded.”
The lawsuit has brought the issue of internet misuse by the minors into light. A study conducted by Drexel University in 2014 found that more than 50 percent among the surveyed candidates had exchanged nude text messages as minors.
The study also found that the majority of young people are not aware of the legal ramifications of underage sexting. The study labels the fact as a “scary and disturbing combination.”
[Image via Pixabay]