Sexting Scandal Might Mean Child Porn Charges for High School Students

The female students took the pictures of themselves and distributed them via text messages. A male student then posted the images on Twitter, according to investigators

By Annette Arreola and Jonathan Lloyd
|  Thursday, May 9, 2013  |  Updated 8:47 PM PDT
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A high school student from Rancho Cucamonga could face jail time after tweeting nude pictures of at least four underage females. San Bernardino Sheriffs are investigating the scandal, and all the students involved, even the girls who took the nude pictures, could face felony charges. Whit Johnson reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 9, 2013.

Whit Johnson

A high school student from Rancho Cucamonga could face jail time after tweeting nude pictures of at least four underage females. San Bernardino Sheriffs are investigating the scandal, and all the students involved, even the girls who took the nude pictures, could face felony charges. Whit Johnson reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 9, 2013.

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Possible Felony Charges in School Sexting Scandal

A high school student from Rancho Cucamonga could face jail time after tweeting nude pictures of at least four underage females. San Bernardino Sheriffs are investigating the scandal, and all the students involved, even the girls who took the nude pictures, could face felony charges. Whit Johnson reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 9, 2013.

Students, Parents Shocked at Sexting Scandal

Students and parents react after learning that a high school student tweeting nude photos of four female students who took pictures of themselves and texted the images. Annette Arreola reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Thursday May 9, 2013.
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Tweets and texts involving nude photos of at least four underage girls in San Benardino County might lead to child pornography charges.

The case involves students at Etiwanda and Rancho Cucamonga high schools. The investigation began Wednesday morning after a teen boy who attends Etiwanda High School tweeted nude photos of the girls, who attend Rancho Cucamonga High School, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

The female students took the pictures of themselves and distributed them via text messages, according to investigators. The male student then posted the images on Twitter, according to authorities.

"People were just like, 'He really posted this stuff,'" said Adrian Cardenas, an Etiwanda High School student.

The male student was suspended, according to school officials. It was not immediately clear whether the boy obtained the images via text or some other method.

The students are 15 and 16 years old.

Charges had not been filed as of Thursday morning, but the students could face felony child pornography charges.

"Taking a self portrait, either nude or partially nude of yourself and forwarding it to someone else who then forwards to someone else -- everyone has equally committed that same crime," said Jodi Miller, public information officer for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Federal law prohibits the "production, distribution, reception, and possession of an image of child pornography." The legal definition of sexually explicit conduct does not require that the image depict a minor engaging in sexual activity.

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