A week after three juvenile boys from Spring Hill were charged with exchanging nude pictures of underage female classmates, another case of alleged sexting is raising questions about what violates the law.
A 17-year-old McGavock High School student said she had a sexual encounter with a fellow student and photos she didn't know were taken later appeared online for all her classmates to see.
"I was really shocked," the girl said. "I just wanted it to be taken down."
The McGavock junior said about two months ago, a 17-year-old boy came over to her family's home after school. One thing led to another, and they had sex - an act she said she regrets. Then, after the two had a falling out, she said the boy posted two photos of her on the social media site Instagram.
"I was bombarded by a whole bunch of people who said they'd seen these pictures of me," the girl said.
She said that the boy had - without her knowledge - let another 17-year-old into the home and that second boy took the pictures without her consent.
"I wasn't aware at the time that he was taking pictures," the girl said. "It's been hard. I try to be strong, but I feel like people should just be careful and be safe, because the people who do this, they don't care."
Metro police say a detective investigated the case and presented it to an assistant district attorney, who declined to prosecute.
They said there are several problems with the case. First, the photos are gone - erased - and that creates a problem with the evidence. Also, police say the two 17-year-old boys both have a different version of events from the girl, as both boys say the photos were not taken covertly.
Some may ask whether this case potentially constitutes child pornography, but police say it is very unusual to prosecute a juvenile in a case involving another juvenile.
For now, the girl's mother said there are painful lessons to be learned by what happened to her daughter.
"I'm sure that my daughter has not been the first, and she won't be the last. And I hope that parents are talking to their children. And parents who are not technology-savvy, you need to get technology-savvy," the girl's mother said.
It's a lesson hard-learned about how easily misplaced trust can turn a life upside-down in this age of social media.
Channel 4 News is told the teen who admitted to posting the photos online was suspended from school for five days.
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