Police continue to investigate alleged porn production involving Fairfax students

Fairfax County police are continuing to investigate allegations that three West Springfield High School students filmed themselves engaged in drunken sex acts with at least six juvenile girls.

The three boys — two 16-year-olds and a 15-year-old — were arrested at school on Jan. 11, according to police and school officials. They have been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.

The boys, who police have not identified publicly because they are juveniles, allegedly hosted parties with girls who were students at West Springfield, Robinson Secondary and Lake Braddock Secondary schools, said a Fairfax County school official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the investigation. The teenagers apparently took part in consensual drinking sessions and then engaged in consensual sex acts, the official said, adding that the sex acts were recorded surreptitiously.

Police have identified six girls, all of whom knew the boys, spokeswoman Shelly Broderick said. The Washington Post generally does not identify juvenile criminal suspects unless they are charged as adults, nor does it name victims of sex crimes.

Police began investigating the allegations on Nov. 29, after someone reported to a school resource officer that a possible crime had occurred, Broderick said. Police declined to discuss the nature of the child pornography and how the material was produced.

In Virginia, production and possession of child pornography are felonies, and such pornography includes videos or photographs of anyone younger than 18 who appears in sexually explicit material, according to Virginia law. If charged as adults and convicted, those who produce child pornography face a minimum of one year and a maximum of 30 years in prison. Possession of child pornography also carries a minimum sentence of one year in prison.

Mark Greenfelder, principal at West Springfield, sent an e-mail to parents late Monday confirming the arrests at the school in January that were connected to a “child exploitation case.”

“I want to be very clear that while arrests were made here at school the students did not engage in any of these alleged behaviors at school or during school hours,” Greenfelder wrote in the e-mail. “The charges that are pending all revolve around alleged inappropriate activity that occurred outside of school over an extended period of time.”

Greenfelder referred questions to police, but wrote that he wanted “to express my regrets that our school was dragged into this story. The reports clearly do not reflect the positive learning environment that students, parents and staff have created at our school.”

Police did not release information at the time of the arrests because the probe is ongoing, Broderick said. “It’s an active investigation,” she said.

Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.

T. Rees Shapiro is an education reporter.
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