At least a dozen Menasha High School students are under investigation by local police after nude and semi-nude photos of some students appeared on the Internet. According to police, the website the pictures were uploaded to has been shut down. Now police need to sort through who was responsible for what.
Menasha Police say they began their investigation into these sexting claims about a week ago. That's when the school liaison officer learned some students had taken naked pictures of themselves, shared them with other students, before the photos ended up online.
According to police, at least a dozen Menasha high school students between the ages of 14 and 16 are involved, police are also trying to identify some students from other Fox Cities high schools who may be involved. Police say during the past few weeks, several teen boys solicited the naked or semi naked photos from female students. The pictures were taken and then shared.
"And then, once they were sent there was the idea or brainstorm, not a good one, to create a focal point or a site to put these all on that they had access to," says Officer Aaron Zemlock with the City of Menasha Police Department.
While police don't believe the actions of the teens were malicious, they were still illegal and the site where the photos were uploaded to has been shutdown.
Says Zemlock, "Our officer, our school liaison officer was able to actually get in there and lock that down so that no additional photos could be viewed or uploaded. So that was advantageous to us and those involved and to our knowledge there's no other access to that page at this time.
For both parents and students the incident came as a bit of a surprise.
Menasha senior Patrick Witkowski said, "If you send one picture out to somebody they're going to send it to somebody else. If you get into a fight or something it's going to go around and around and your going to get made fun of."
A parent, Kathy Holmberg hopes the incident leads to dialogue.
"I try and let them know that anything that they text and anything that goes among the airwaves is going to be there forever and you never know where it might end up. Try to make the point, but kids don't always listen, it's hard," said Holmberg.
As of right now police haven't asked that any charges be filed against any of the teens. Instead, they are completing their investigation by sorting through cell phone and computer data before moving forward.
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