Local 6 exclusive: 'Selfies' of children posted on porn sites

Seminole County investigators say 22 students identified

Author: Mike Holfeld, Problem Solver, mholfeld@clickorlando.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:57:58 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 20 2013 07:26:23 AM EST
ORLANDO. Fla. -

Seminole County Sheriff's investigators have identified 22 former and current high school students on blogs and porn sites dedicated to request and post revealing pictures of girls.

The digital photos, some of teenage girls in bathing suits or less, were first discovered in 2012. Investigator Christie Register says some girls alerted her office while others had no idea their pictures had been posted.

[WEB EXTRA: Info, tips on dealing with sexting]

One former coed who says she was 15 or 16 when her photos were taken, says several friends alerted her about topless pictures she had forgotten about.

“I mean what do you do they’re out there, you can’t take them back so it sucks," she said.

The girl, now 22 years old, says aside from the obvious humiliation, she is afraid the photos will ruin her chances to get a job after she graduates college.

“I don’t want other girls to be in this position, to be scared that somebody is going to look at you and think something that’s not true because of one time, one mistake," she said.

Police have not been able to connect anyone to the posts because they are sent anonymously. Register stresses that under current state law “once you give a picture away or an image away, it’s not yours anymore and that person you gave it to has the right to do what they want with it.”

Texting nude photos of a minor is a violation of Florida's “Sexting” law. Kids face community service for the first offense to jail time for the third offense.

Unfortunately, the law has not slowed down the problem of kids sharing intimate photos.

“We’ve had cases where a child wants to date the popular boy in school and he asks her for a (nude) picture,” Register says.

In many cases she found that it comes down to peer pressure and the thrill of someone showing interest in you. That mindset has prompted the sheriff’s department to hold sexting and cyber bullying sessions with younger students.

The first was held last Tuesday at Greenwood Lakes Middle School in Lake Mary. If you discover your  photos on questionable web sites or you have questions about the issue  you can email  investigators at cacinvestigator@seminolesheriff.org.