Nude pics of local teens posted to Instagram

Nude pics of local teens posted to Instagram

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by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on February 27, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 27 at 7:57 PM

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. -- A statewide investigation into sexually explicit photos of underage girls posted on Instagram now includes victims from Rowan County.

A search warrant says there were at least nine photos posted to three similar accounts with the intention to cyber bully and embarrass middle and high school-aged girls.

Captions on the explicit photos mention or infer Kannapolis Middle School, Carson High School, and South, West and East Rowan High Schools.

According to the warrant, a message on one of the pages says:

"Girls and guys that send pics have pictures of a girl OR a guy you wanna put on blast? DM us the picture and we will put them up. Give us a shout out in order to get accepted."

Investigators say "blast" means expose to embarrass.

The pictures were taken and posted without consent.

"I wouldn't want my kid to be put out there like that, it's scary," said parent Teena Poole, who has two kids in high school.

Just the idea someone would do this to kids makes her mad.

"I'd want to kill him," she said. "They need to be locked up and registered as sex offenders in my opinion."

The Instagram pages and pictures have been taken down.

The concern among parents would be devastating, lasting effects.

"For a female it would destroy her self esteem, depression, anxiety," said Poole.

Investigators are now going after the account records and internet addresses of those who logged in.

Meanwhile, parents like Jeff James are planning dinner time talks with their kids.

His daughter is on social media and checks it regularly.

"Maybe it's time for a stronger stance on that," he said.

As a result of the incident, Rowan-Salisbury Schools ordered 40,000 books, one for each student and their parents, about cyber safety.

An online cyber safety course already in the works for all students starts next week.

State officials say they've identified 30 of these types of accounts covering at least nine counties. The charge for this type of crime is sexual exploitation of a minor.
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