Suffolk boy, 13, charged in alleged "sextortion" By Scott Daugherty May 28, 2014
At least one of the girls - a student at
police last month that she sent nude photos of herself to the boy and that he
turned around and threatened to forward the images to his friends if she didn't
do what he wanted, according to court documents. She said he coerced her into
performing oral sex on April 10 on a school bus. John
When detectives looked into her story, they learned about five other possible victims, documents said.
The boy - who no longer attends
John F. Kennedy Middle School - has been charged in Juvenile and
Domestic Relations District Court with one count each of felony aggravated
sexual battery and production of child pornography, 's
Attorney James Wiser said. Deputy Commonwealth
Diana Klink, a city spokeswoman, declined to comment on the case, noting that the investigation is ongoing.
Bethanne Bradshaw, a spokeswoman for the school system, said the boy was suspended and recommended for expulsion.
The School Board's pupil personnel committee held a hearing May 15 and decided instead to transfer him to the division's alternative education program at
for the remainder of the year, she said. Turlington Woods School
The committee will revisit the student's case in August, Bradshaw added.
Child welfare advocates and other experts on so-called "sexting" said the allegations illustrate some of the dangers teenagers face when they send nude photos of themselves to others. A key point: When a person hits send on a text message or email, he or she loses control of the attached image.
"Never take a picture you don't want your parents to see," said Parry Aftab, executive director of WiredSafety.org, a volunteer organization dedicated to online safety.
Jeff R. Temple, an associate professor at the
of Texas Medical Branch at and author of
multiple studies on sexting, urged parents to share this cautionary tale with
their children. Galveston
"Use this as a learning opportunity," said
, who has researched the prevalence of
sexting among high school students. He said teenagers - particularly girls -
should understand they never have to submit to such "sextortion." Temple
"You are not alone. A lot of people are doing this, for better or worse," he said.
Temple noted the results of a study he published in 2012 that found that about 28 percent of 948 Texas high school students interviewed admitted sending someone a nude photo of themselves. Boys and girls sent photos at about the same rate, but boys were significantly more likely to request such photos than girls, he said.
The study found a link between sexting and impulsive behavior and substance abuse, but
said it is not
something only "risky kids are doing." Temple
"A lot of these kids aren't coming from bad homes," he said.
"It's a modern-day version of 'you show me yours and I'll show you mine,' "
didn't have access to a large distribution network when we were kids." Temple