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updated: 5/1/2014 12:17 PM

Batavia middle school sexting investigated

Police say dozen kids send nude photographs over cellphones

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  • Video: Batavia School Image Sharing

  • Batavia School District 101 Superintendent Lisa Hichens and Batavia Police Detective Kevin Bretz answer questions related to a case involving inappropriate nude images that were taken by middle school students of themselves.

       Batavia School District 101 Superintendent Lisa Hichens and Batavia Police Detective Kevin Bretz answer questions related to a case involving inappropriate nude images that were taken by middle school students of themselves.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Batavia Police Detective Kevin Bretz Wednesday answers questions related to a case involving inappropriate nude images that were taken by middle school students.

       Batavia Police Detective Kevin Bretz Wednesday answers questions related to a case involving inappropriate nude images that were taken by middle school students.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 

Batavia police are investigating a case of sexting involving Rotolo Middle School students distributing nude pictures of themselves.

A Rotolo student reported the activity to a school official Tuesday morning, who then reported it to police, District 101 Superintendent Lisa Hichens said Wednesday.

Detective Kevin Bretz said police have found six to seven students who took photos of themselves and sent them to other students via text messages from their cellphones. About 12 students have received the photos.

They took the pictures while posing in front of mirrors, Bretz said.

He also said police have not found any evidence the photos have made their way to sites on the Internet.

The photos were taken in the last six weeks, he said.

Bretz and Hichens stressed parents should discuss this with their children, and check their children's phones, iPods and computers.

"(Middle school) kids tend to see not much farther than their nose," Bretz said, and don't realize the photos could hurt or embarrass them if they surface later -- say, when they are applying to college.

"We hope that all parents take the opportunity to talk to their children about the permanent nature of things online," Hichens said.

Bretz said he does not know if the children were sending the texts as part of a game.

"This is a curiosity thing. This is a junior high thing," Bretz said.

Hichens did not know what grades the students are in.

The students and their parents have been interviewed and are cooperating with police, he said, as police try to determine the extent of the distribution. He said there was no bullying.

The phones have not been confiscated.

Police also haven't determined whether any criminal charges will be brought.

Illinois law prohibits minors from distributing "an indecent visual depiction of another minor" via computer or electronic communication device. Minors found guilty of doing so might be sentenced to counseling and community service.

"If nothing else, we are trying to use this as a learning tool for the parents and the district," Bretz said.

Hichens said the students involved will receive "support and education," and that disciplinary consequences would depend on the result of the police investigation.

School rules prohibit creating, sending, sharing, viewing, possessing or receiving indecent pictures of oneself or another person, according to the Rotolo Middle School handbook.

People with information about this incident are asked to call Bretz at (630) 454-2500.

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