HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Several people are facing charges after Huntsville Police say they saved pictures and videos of naked teenage girls in a dropbox account for others to see.
And social media played a part in the case.
It's a parent's worst nightmare-- learning that their child has been sending or receiving compromising selfies. According to officials in the Huntsville Police Department, a number of girls sent videos and pics to 18 year old Noah Jones.
He was arrested this week and charged with 10 counts of disseminating child pornography.
It's alleged that while still in high school last year, Jones started collecting nude photos and videos that individual girls would send to him. They all went to the same school.
HPD's spokesman says among those photos were some teens as young as 14.
When police started investigating, they say they found everything was stored in a dropbox account that other people could access.
"A victim and her parents alerted us to a couple of photos that were being circulated of her. It turned into an investigation where we found photos that had been stored on this web based service that this individual that has been arrested was in control of," said Lt. Michael Johnson, HPD's public information officer.
Justin Dale Kennedy, 19, is also charged the case. He was arrested back in May by HPD and charged with three counts of disseminating child pornography. Police say he was feeding the dropbox.
Dalton Davis, 19, of Decatur was identified as another suspect adding to the dropbox.
Court documents stated on that in September of 2017, Davis disseminated pictures of 14-15 year old girls who were in naked or partially naked into the dropbox which he "granted other males access to."
"These were nude photos of females. The majority of them were of age but there was a lot of them that were not and that's why the charges came out because of the ages of some of the victims in the photos. And there were a few videos," Lt. Johnson stated.
Police urge parents need to talk to their kids about how they use their cell phones and social media. Advise them not to send nude photos. They might think it's something flirty and fun to do, but it can have serious consequences that could impact their future. If the person in the image or video is under the age of 17, it's illegal in Alabama.
"Some of the photos were sent and received via the Snapchat app which a lot of teen thinks is a safe app because a photo or video does not stay on the app for very long. There are still certain ways you can screenshot those photos and the sender will not be alerted. That's what happened in this case," Johnson added.
And you never know where the photos are going to end up. HPD says the dropbox has been opened by people in other states.
"There may be other investigations out of state," Johnson said. "When you have something of this magnitude and you have victims that come forward, law enforcement is going to investigate and appropriately look into the allegations."
For reference, Alabama 13A-12-191 states: "Any person who shall knowingly disseminate or display publicly any obscene matter containing a visual depiction of a person under the age of 17 years engaged in any act of sado-masochistic abuse, sexual intercourse, sexual excitement, masturbation, breast nudity, genital nudity, or other sexual conduct shall be guilty of a Class B felony."
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