By Dustin Ensinger
A former Westerville City Schools student accused of receiving and disseminating nude photos of underage girls now faces two felony charges.
The student, also a minor, has been charged with illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented materials, a second degree felony, and disseminating matter harmful to a minor, a fifth degree felony.
“In basic terms it is illegal for anyone to disseminate photos of juveniles who are nude,” Genoa Township Police Chief Steve Gammill said in a statement. “This includes a juvenile taking a nude picture of themselves and sending it to someone else by any manner. It also includes someone who receives the picture and then forwards it to someone else. When we get these cases we investigate them and then forward them to the appropriate prosecutor to determine if charges will be filed.”
The investigation into the matter is ongoing, according to Gammill, who said it is not a problem isolated in the Westerville area.
“This type of activity is not just occurring in our area, it is widespread among kids everywhere,” he said. “The rise in smart phones is a major driving factor in this.”
Gammill encourages parents to familiarize themselves with technology to help prevent similar incidents.
“Talk to your kids about this and make them aware of the possible consequences,” he said. “Get familiar with the technology out there; if you don’t know what Snapchat, Instagram, and Kik are you need to read up on them. You can always take the phone away from them. We have to raise our kids, not the schools. I know as well as any parent it’s not always easy but it’s our most important job.”
The former student will be arraigned June 23.
Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.