Landis police, the State Bureau of Investigation and law enforcement across North Carolina have issued a warrant to Facebook - which owns the photo-sharing application Instagram - ordering that the social media company provide records to identify account holders distributing "inappropriate" nude photos of area high school girls as young as 14 and 15 years old, according to the station. Police began investigating the lewd Instagram accounts after a series of complaints from parents across the state who noticed the naked images on several accounts that had already amassed thousands of followers. Investigators are seeking felony charges for child pornography and sexual exploitation of a minor against the responsible account holders, WSOC-TV reports. Ulla was arrested and suspended from school earlier this week for posting a fully nude photo of a local year-old high school student on an Instagram account called, "Thesehoes01," the Associated Press reported. Investigators said they were able to trace the lewd photo back to year-old Juan Bautista of Woodleaf, who was arrested and charged with cyber-bullying for operating the account. The State Bureau of Investigation SBI announced that it is in the midst of investigating tips about similar nude photos of girls identified as students from at least six high schools in Wake County alone. Police in at least ten other counties - including Chatham, Johnston, Edgecombe, Craven, Randolph and Surry - are already investigating 40 similar accounts distributing naked photos of local teenagers, reports CBS Charlotte. Police have said Facebook has been "uncooperative" in responding to the issued warrants for account holder information, ABC News first reported. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said last week that the inappropriate photos of high school students being distributed on social media is a problem that could get much worse as publicity spreads. Cooper is urging parents to talk to their children about appropriate Internet behavior to prevent future leaks.
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A year-old in North Carolina struck a plea deal last week to avoid serving jail time on felony sex offender charges. His crime? Taking a nude photo of himself. In response, he was charged with several counts of sexual exploitation for taking and possessing sexually explicit photos of a minor. He was separately charged for also having a photo of his year-old girlfriend on his cell phone. The case has several elements that have confounded outside observers. For one, the year-old has been prosecuted as an adult , even though the sexual exploitation charges rest upon his classification as a minor.
In a bizarre case that has legal experts flummoxed, one North Carolina teenage couple has been slapped with felony charges for sexting and possessing nude photos… of each other. According to the Washington Post , police arrested the teens and charged them with sexually exploiting themselves. However, child pornography laws apply to minors under the age of 18, which means that Copening and Denson were tried as adults, though they are simultaneously considered the underage victims. Copening was charged with a whopping five felonies—two for taking nude photos of himself, two for sending the pics and one for having a photo of Denson—and faced up to 10 years in prison.
By Ave Mince-Didier. Sexting is the taking and sharing of nude or sexually explicit photos by computer or cell phone. While some states have enacted laws to deal specifically with teen sexting, North Carolina has not. In many states, including North Carolina, when sexting involves images of children under the age of 18, it violates state laws against child pornography, and teens can be prosecuted under laws intended to punish adult sex offenders.