Prince William teens charged in connection with explicit Instagram postings

March 8, 2014

Three young teenagers — all students in the Prince William County school system — were charged Friday with computer harassment after investigators determined they posted more than 50 explicit photos of other students on Instagram, authorities said.

The teenagers — a 15-year-old girl from Woodbridge, a 14-year-old boy from Woodbridge and a 13-year-old boy from Manassas — simply asked for the images from their classmates, and the classmates took and sent them voluntarily, said Officer Jonathan Perok, a Prince William County police spokesman. He said the teens then posted the images on Instagram accounts, and it was unclear if they had the permission of those in the photos to do so.

Perok said the students went to different schools in the Prince William County school system, as did those depicted in the photographs. He said none of the photographs seem to have been taken or posted on school property or using school equipment.

Investigators first learned of the postings on Feb. 17, and the Instagram accounts containing them were “immediately shut down,” police said in a news release. Police did not publicly identify the owners of the accounts because they were charged as juveniles.

Perok said that while investigators found more than 50 photos, it was unclear how many students were actually depicted in the photos. He said no adults appeared to have been involved in the soliciting, taking or posting of the photos.

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