Two former Wheaton middle school students who face criminal charges in connection with the electronic posting of inappropriate images involving students and staff members have been placed on home detention as the cases against them move forward.
Both 14-year-old boys and their parents appeared Thursday in DuPage County Juvenile Court to learn the charges against them.
The former Edison Middle School students are each charged with several felony and misdemeanor counts of harassment by electronic communications, transmission of obscene messages, obscenity, harassment by telephone and mob action. One of the two is also charged with unlawful possession of cannabis.
Each teen faces one to three years in juvenile custody if convicted.
Judge Robert Anderson questioned both boys' parents about their behavior at home and reminded the teens about the seriousness of the charges.
Anderson also ordered both teens to remain on GPS home detention, giving one of the boys an exception for a two-week Wisconsin vacation with his father.
"He's got it way worse with me than he would if he were in your custody," the boy's father told Anderson.
The mother of the teen with the additional charge told Anderson her son's monitoring anklet can be seen in hot summer months and has raised embarrassing questions at church functions and football camp.
The boy's attorney, Rick Kayne, also confirmed the boy has been expelled from Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200. District spokeswoman Erica Loiacono declined to comment on the status of either teen.
"We're not leaving the state. We're not a flight risk," the mother told Anderson. "He didn't hurt anyone or steal from anyone. He cut and pasted some pictures on Instagram."
Wheaton police began investigating "dummy" social media accounts late last month that posted inappropriate images involving Edison Middle School students and staff members.
Former Superintendent Brian Harris said at the time of the arrests that more than one post was made on an alias account that featured a "combination of images" with "a lot of creative cutting and pasting going on."
Both boys are prohibited from seeing each other, using social media and using a computer, smartphone or tablet for any purpose other than school work.
The teen with the lesser number of charges is next scheduled to be in court Aug. 18. The other boy is scheduled to appear July 17 for a hearing on whether his monitoring device can be removed.
The Wheaton case is just one of four recent instances involving suburban middle and elementary school students sexting or viewing pornography.
Two students in Barrington were criminally charged with sending inappropriate images of a student to a group of classmates.
Authorities in Batavia decided not to file charges after several students took nude photos of themselves and shared them with others.
And in Glen Ellyn, where two fifth-grade students and a fourth-grader viewed pornographic material while at school, officials have refused to say what actions were taken.