Child Pornography Charges Roil Ponderosa High School

Three students at Ponderosa High School in Ponderosa, CA are now facing child pornography charges following two separate incidents over the past two weeks.

In a press release issued on October 17, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office announced the discovery a sexually explicit video involving three minors:

On October 14, 2015, at Ponderosa High School, an El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office school resource officer (SRO) learned of a video depicting two juvenile high school students engaged in sex acts. An investigation was initiated and it was learned that on October 10, 2015 a male and female, both minors, were filmed by a third male minor, all three Ponderosa High School students. After further investigation, the two male students were arrested and booked into the El Dorado County Juvenile Hall on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography, sexual exploitation of a child and conspiracy to commit a felony crime. The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind children that decisions they make now could affect them negatively in the future.

According to a report by the local FOX TV channel, KTXL-TV, the 15-year-old girl was not aware that a second boy was in the room or that she was being recorded.

California does not have specific laws dealing with sexting, so the two young men are facing charges under California’s child pornography statute. Calif. Pen. Code §311 et seq. If convicted, both face registration as sex offenders under California law.

The same is true for a third boy at Pasadena High School, who was arrested on Tuesday, October 20 for allegedly showing classmates “a naked picture of an underage girl[.]” The young woman reportedly posed for the photos but did not consent to their being shown to others.

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