Police: Underage students' photos posted on adult site
CHARLTON, Mass. -- Charlton police are warning parents of an adult website that is pulling pictures of underage students from social networking sites such as Facebook and posting them on adult websites.
Charlton police have asked the FBI to assist in the investigation.
In most cases, the pictures are innocent, but parents are not happy to find them posted on a pornographic site, some with suggestive captions or titles. The fully-clothed pictures are mixed with images of young women in various stages of undress.
It has happened to at least 17 students at the Bay Path Regional Technical High School thus far. School officials have sent out letters to parents warning them to monitor what their children are posting online, and make sure they are using privacy setting where possible.
"My friend called me and told me that I was on the website, and I was in shock because I kept checking it every day to see if I wasn't. Being on that website and being on a child porn website just makes me look bad as a person," said an 18-year-old woman who found her photo on the site.
“Parents should be aware how technology works, and that as much as they can to supervise their sons and daughters, what sites they’re going to, how they’re posting them, their information out on social media. And the other problem is that their child may have a privacy setting but then they share out to their friends and their friends may not have a privacy setting,” said Chief James Pervier, Charlton Police Department.
In a few cases, the pictures involve underage students who are in semi-nude or nude poses that were pictures they may have taken themselves and passed on to others.
In one instance there is a photo of a student with a line next to it that reads, “DEFINITLEY (sic) nudes of her out there.” But there are not.
The website also features different schools from the Tantasqua Regional School District.
“Oh, I’ve been contacted by a number of superintendents. As I understand it, it is multiple schools across the state and probably across the country,” said Superintendent Daniel Durgin of the Tantasqua School District.
Charlton police say they are aware of the situation, but there is little they can do to control what is most likely an international website.
The school district sent information to parents about what was going on and what precautions they should take.
Investigators say they were aware of this website and it had been shutdown once, but apparently had resurfaced again. Since it is likely an international website investigators will be unable to shut it down permanently.
Here is a list of Internet safety tips compiled by the FTC and FBI.
(Copyright (c) 2012 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)