Police investigating nude photos of Cornelius and Huntersville students shared online

Police said Wednesday they’ve identified the male student who created and shared an online Dropbox file containing about 75 photographs of nude female students in the Huntersville-Cornelius area.

The girls took the pictures of themselves but never intended for them to be available online, Detective Kenny Lynch of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Police Department said at a news conference at the Government Center.

“All were self-made and shared with someone they trusted,” Lynch said.

Lynch declined to identify the male student who created the file, his age and the school he attends but said “it’s not necessarily” a CMS school.

Dropbox is an online file sharing site.

Lynch said police are consulting with the district attorney’s office on what if any charges could be filed. A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department report identifies the case as “pornography/obscene material.”

The girls are of middle school and high school age, Lynch said; the youngest is 14.

The girls attend schools within CMS and without, Lynch said. The Huntersville and Cornelius police departments assisted in the investigation because schools the girls attend are in those areas, he said.

Lynch declined to name the schools but said the investigation began Feb. 3 when a couple of Hough High School students who made nude pictures of themselves went to a principal with a link to the file. Hough High is a CMS school on Bailey Road in Cornelius.

The Dropbox file was created sometime between Dec. 19 and early February, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police report.

Between Dec. 19 and early this month, someone shared the link to the file with “various persons” at Hough High, according to the report.

Lynch said Dropbox cooperated with police in immediately shutting the file down.

He said the case highlights the importance of parents keeping attuned to their children’s activities.

“Parents really need to be involved and know what their children are doing,” he said.

“The takeaway from this is the lasting effect this could have on your future,” Lynch said. “We want all students to be successful, and this type of activity can certainly hinder that.”

By Joe Marusak –

The Charlotte Observer

February 11, 2015

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