and the Allegheny County district attorney’s office are investigating a widespread sexting case at .
Authorities were alerted to the situation Tuesday afternoon by school officials, who apparently found sexually explicit images on a student’s cell phone.
Collier police Thomas Devin said they’re in the “early stages” of the investigation, but that it’s becoming clear that numerous students are involved.
“It’s one of those things that it starts out as one and just keeps growing,” Devin told Chartiers Valley Patch. “We know there are a couple (students) involved and we’ll be investigating them. As far as this goes, it keeps growing.”
He would not say who the students are because of their ages. WPXI-TV reported the pictures are of a 15-year-old girl and that she and anyone with the nude photos on their phone could face charges.
Devin said this isn’t the first sexting case his department has investigated at the high school. But he’s concerned that students don’t understand the dangers of sending sexually explicit photographs to friends that usually turn up on the Internet.
“Once it’s put out there it just keep going,” Devin said. “It’s put out on the internet for everyone to see. Before you know it, it’s all over the world. You’re taking pictures and you don’t realize where they’re going and how they’ll affect you later on in life.”
He said investigators are working with the district attorney’s office to determine if charges should be filed against any of the juveniles involved. Devin also has contacted school district officials about holding a meeting or assembly soon to inform students of the ramifications from sexting.
The police department also plans to post information to parents about the dangers of sexting on its Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/CTPDcrimewatch.
A school district spokesperson could only say that they have turned the case to local authorities and are assisting in the investigation.
Do you think students at Pine-Richland High School are aware of the dangers and repercussions of sexting? Tell us in the comments.