Teen pleads guilty in sexting scandal after 100+ inappropriate i - WNEM TV 5

Teen pleads guilty in sexting scandal after 100+ inappropriate images found

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
DAVISON, MI (WNEM) -

An 18-year-old student plead guilty to possession of child porn after more than 100 inappropriate images were uncovered.

Alex Ebmeyer, of Richfield Township, was 17 at the time he was questioned in January. He has since had a birthday.

On April 3, he plead guilty to possession of child sexually abusive material - a four year felony.

That sentence will be reduced to a misdemeanor if he has no criminal wrongdoing for one year. His charge will be amended to one count of using a computer to commit a misdemeanor, which is a one year sentence.

At least 35 victims in the pictures have been identified and interviewed, but Michigan State Police Lt. Dave Kaiser said many others will not be identified because many of the images are focused tightly on body parts.

Investigators believe the Davison High School student uploaded the images to Dropbox and others were shared with students through Snapchat.

Snapchat is a smartphone app that allows people to send images that a person can see for only a few seconds.

One male high school student apparently did screen grabs of some of those images and that is helping with the investigation.

All of the photos are believed to be of Davison High School girls.

A tip led police to the files and the computer crimes lab was able to trace it back to Ebmeyer.

"What makes this a crime is these sexually explicit photos are photographs - partially nude, some all nude - of students under the age of 18. And we call that sexually abusive material and it's illegal to do," Kaiser said.

Kaiser said many of the pictures had the names of the girls associated with them. Some of the photos were full body and included student faces.

The school has contacted parents of students whose pictures were uncovered.

One parent of a student who was not involved said this is a concerning development.

"I saw Davison Township and then the picture of the school and thought oh my gosh," said Linda Schroer, parent. "It's scary because I don't think these girls or guys know what they're doing or realize the ramifications that it can involve later on if it gets out in the public and stuff."

Police said the site where the photos were posted has been taken down.

Distributing sexually explicit material of underage victims and using a computer to commit a crime are both felonies.

"The pictures, these young ladies or men or whoever put themselves out there, put themselves out there to be exploited," said Arika Thrall, Davison parent.

Thrall's teenage son and daughter both attend Davison High School. She said they were not involved in the sexting scandal. However, she had a very direct conversation with them about the dangers of social media.

She believes the number of students involved is an indication there is a more serious problem.

"I guess I just don't understand. I don't understand the whole point of why at this day and age, why we are not more cautious of our own selves and we would take pictures of ourselves and then oust them to anybody," Thrall said.

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