The Central Virginian

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Sexting case opens door to dialogue with Louisa students

Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 9:00 am

Sexting seems to be a problem across all age groups.

Sexting seems to be a problem across all age groups.

The investigation into more than 1,000 nude pictures of Louisa County teens shared on a pair of Instagram accounts has grown to involve at least 35 electronic devices and 125 young people between the ages of 14 and 17 in Louisa and five surrounding counties.

The Louisa County Sheriff’s Office learned of the incident on Wednesday, March 26 after an alert parent reported suspicious activity on her child’s Instagram account. According to Chief Deputy Major Donald A. Lowe, LCSO, everyone involved has been more than willing to cooperate.

“In my 27 years of law enforcement, I’ve never seen this type of cooperation between parents, kids and us,” Lowe said. “It’s just been amazing. Every electronic device has been voluntarily surrendered.”

The investigation is likely to take several months and includes youth from Hanover, Orange, Goochland, Fluvanna and Albemarle counties. The department’s single forensics analyst will spend 10 hours on each cell phone that has been surrendered to uncover evidence.

At this time, Lowe said he is not certain whether there will be any arrests.  It is possible, he added, that there may be a few.

“It’s still too early to tell. We’re just speculating when we do that,” Lowe said. “We’re not on some kind of quest to label 100 plus teens as sex offenders. We’re basically trying to find what would be prosecutable or not, and make a determination based on that.”

To read the entire story, see the April 10 edition of The Central Virginian.