April 5, 2014

Underage Virginia ‘sexting’ ring ensnares 100 teens, uncovers 1,000 pictures: police

UPDATE: ACLU questions validity of massive child pornography investigation
4-5-2014 Virginia:

The widespread central Virginia scandal came to light last month after authorities learned kids were posting nude photos to Instagram. Possessing pictures of minors is child porn and could lead to charges for the teens, police said.

A sprawling central Virginian “sexting” ring was busted up by authorities after pictures of naked 14- and 15-year-olds sprang up on Instagram, cops say.

The disturbing investigation revealed more than 1,000 pictures, some videos and more than 100 involved teens through six different counties who may not realize sharing such photos of underage kids can be a felony, police told the Central Virginian.

Out of those thousand images, there are some of them that are not sexually explicit, but are what we would call inappropriate or provocative — in their underwear,” Major Donald A. Lowe, chief deputy of the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office, told the newspaper. “It looks like the majority will be sexually explicit.”

A mother tipped off authorities last month after she noticed some scandalous photos on her child’s Instagram profile. Once police started digging, they found two different Instagram accounts that allowed teens to access them only if they shared a nude photo or scantily clad photo of themselves first.

Officers then learned teens from Louisa, Fluvanna, Orange, Goochland, Albemarle and Hanover counties were sharing photos of themselves either on the site or by sexting each other, the newspaper reported. ..Continued.. by Sasha Goldstein

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