RALEIGH — A state investigation into a proliferation of nude teen photographs posted on social media sites has widened to include 10 municipalities and counties.
The State Bureau of Investigations inquiry focuses on social-media accounts that appear to redistribute nude images of underage North Carolina teenagers. The investigation spans the state, with law enforcement agencies from the foothills to the coast involved.
It is a felony in North Carolina to share nude images of underage people.
In Durham, a 14-year-old student at Githens Middle School told a school resource officer this month that nude photos of her were being shared on Instagram, according to the Durham County Sheriffs Office, while a 17-year-old told deputies that someone had posted nude photos of her on the image-sharing website.
Wake Forest police, meanwhile, began their investigation Feb. 12 when a woman contacted them after finding nude images of her daughter on Twitter and Instagram. Now the trend, which appears to involve students, who did not want their photos shared, is a state affair.
To date, the SBI has identified more than 30 accounts as potential violators, wrote Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice, in an email.
The bureau is working with police and sheriffs offices in Cary, Raleigh, Durham, Havelock, Chatham County, Pitt County, Surry County, Edgecombe County and Randolph County.