WJTV News Channel 12 - WAKE FOREST: Police target accounts linked to underage photos

Police target accounts linked to nude photos of Wake Co. teens

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A screenshot of one of the Instagram accounts being investigated for posting nude photos of students. A screenshot of one of the Instagram accounts being investigated for posting nude photos of students.
WAKE FOREST, N.C. -

Authorities are investigating a number of Instagram accounts after nude photos of Wake County high school students started appearing online.

A woman called Wake Forest police last week to tell them that her daughter had learned that someone had posted nude photos of her on Twitter and Instagram. The girl is now 18, but the woman said the photos were from when she was 14 or 15.

Wake Forest public information office Bill Crabtree is asking parents to be vigilant.

"We are urging parents and guardians to take this opportunity to educate their children on the dangers of posing for inappropriate pictures; taking inappropriate photos of themselves, distributing inappropriate photos through email or text, and/or posting inappropriate pictures online," Crabtree said.

According to an affidavit, Wake County Public School System security personnel found other Instagram accounts with photos of nude girls and boys. The security officials identified students at Enloe, Athens Drive, Rolesville, Holly Springs, Heritage and Middle Creek high schools.

In warrants released Tuesday, Wake Forest Police have asked for all records relating to four separate Instagram accounts -- "Wakepremiumthootss919," "Raleigh_hoes," "save_them_from" and "wake_county_hoes."

WCPSS security also identified "WCPSS thoughts," "WCPSS thoughs_," "WakeCo_hoe," "Exposing WCPSS" and "Raleigh_hoez" as other Instagram accounts containing explicit images of juveniles -- including photos of breasts, male and female genitalia, and sexual acts.

In a statement, the school system said it was continuing to work with law enforcement to investigate "criminally inappropriate use of photographs involving Wake County students."

"The school district takes such actions seriously and will assist investigators in any and all efforts to identify and prosecute offenders," Wake Schools said.

The affidavit said investigators want Facebook, which owns Instagram, to turn over all information about four Instagram accounts, including user names and logins between Feb. 10 and Feb. 17.

Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby cautioned any involvement of taking or distributing nude photos of a minor is a crime -- even for the subject of the photo.

"Being involved in the distribution of a photograph of a minor involved in sexual activities can be a crime and it can be a very serious crime depending on what your role is," Willoughby said.

At Athens Drive High School on Monday night, parents we spoke with said this incident should be a lesson for their own children.

"It's like I tell my high school daughters, you know, one wrong thing can kind of spread and ruin their reputation," Krista McGivern said.

"Put naked pictures?  On Instagram?  No, their father would have a fit," Lorraine Reddick said.  "That's why you have to talk to your kids and let them know.  Some things you just don't do."

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