Durham sheriff’s office warns of nude teen photos online

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comFebruary 20, 2014 

— For the second time this week, a Triangle law enforcement agency is warning about nude photos of teenagers being posted on the Internet without their permission.

Two girls contacted the Durham County Sheriff’s Office this week to report someone had posted nude photos of them on the social networking site Instagram.

Earlier this week, Wake Forest police said the mother of a teen reported that someone had posted nude photos of her daughter on Twitter and Instagram. Police said they had potentially identified “numerous victims” who are students at Wake County high schools, including Enloe, Athens Drive, Rolesville, Holly Springs, Heritage and Middle Creek.

In Durham, a 14-year-old student at Githens Middle School told a school resource officer Thursday that nude photos of her were being shared on Instagram, according to the Sheriff’s Office. A day earlier, a 17-year-old told deputies that someone had posted nude photos of her on Instagram.

Durham sheriff’s spokesman Paul Sherwin said the two reports are the only ones the Sheriff’s Office has received, but he expects more.

“I anticipate the number of reports of this nature we receive will increase as children and parents become more aware of this type of behavior on social media,” Sherwin said in a press release. “The responsibility of children’s safety on the Internet ultimately falls on parents – who must take every step possible to ensure their kids are being safe online.

“We ask that any student with information about photos of nude students being shared online please tell a parent, school official or law enforcement officer.”

Sherwin said that deputies are trying to determine which laws apply to this kind of activity “given that the likely ages of those involved are all under 18 and the photographs were most likely taken and distributed willingly to at least one other person.”

The results of the Sheriff’s Office investigation will be forwarded to the county district attorney’s office for possible charges, which could include disseminating obscenity, Sherwin said.

McDonald: 919-829-4533

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