Cape May County Prosecutor Robert Taylor announced on May 26 that his office has charged 19 juveniles and 1 adult in a two-school sexting scandal.
On April 23, a female student told school officials at the Lower Cape May Regional High School that nude photos of a friend were being shared around the school via text message. The school notified the Prosecutor’s Office and the Lower Township Police Department.
The subsequent investigation revealed that the images were being shared among male students at the Lower Cape May Regional High School and the Richard M. Teitelman Middle School. Law enforcement officers seized a total of 27 cell phones for analysis and determined that the images were being circulated via text message and social media apps.
I contacted the Prosecutor’s office for additional information about the apps involved but have not yet received a reply.
Following the investigation, twenty students were charged with invasion of privacy, a third-degree felony under New Jersey law. The unidentified adult (presumably an over-18 senior) faces up to three to five years in state prison. The nineteen juveniles face two to three years at a training school for juvenile offenders.
Parents need to remember that in addition to criminal invasion of privacy, the individuals in this case could also have been charged with receipt, possession, and distribution of child pornography under federal and state law.