Thursday, November 23, 2017
Public safety

Girl, 15, charged with possessing child porn

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WESLEY CHAPEL — A 15-year-old girl was charged Monday with possessing child pornography, a third-degree felony, after detectives said they found her with lewd photos of her peers.

The girl, a Wiregrass Ranch High School student, was caught on May 21 with a photo of two other students having oral sex, the Pasco Sheriff reported.

The girl sent the photo to an unknown number of other students, and at least five people detectives interviewed had seen the photo.

One 18-year-old student posted the photo to Twitter, said Detective William Lindsey.

Deputies plan to nab that student on a search warrant soon.

The suspect, who is not being named because of her age, took the photo of a 14-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy "months before" she distributed it, said Lindsey.

The distribution was out of vengeance, but Lindsey said he was not sure what sparked the girls' falling out.

Though the 15-year-old girl produced, possessed and distributed the photo, he said, she was charged only with possession — the least serious of the three.

"We're not trying to make all these children criminals or sex offenders," he said. "Every one of my cases is a chance to educate people. You can't take back what you put on the Internet."

On Tuesday, Wiregrass principal Robyn White sat in her office to record a phone message to be sent to all students' parents.

"I want to urge parents to monitor their students' phones and Internet activity to protect them from similar charges," she said. "I also want to remind students that it's not worth it to take images of body parts or activities that could result in criminal charges. Please use phones and cameras responsibly."

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