Update from police on sexting incident among students at MHS

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UPDATE:  Moline police say no criminal charges will be filed in connection with a sexting incident where nude photos of  female students were widely circulated on cell phones with fellow students.

WQAD reported the story on Friday. As many as a dozen female students who had consensually texted naked pictures of themselves to a friend, discovered the images had been shared throughout the high school and to kids in other districts.

On Wednesday, police issued a news release on the incident which says that after reviewing the images and talking with the female students, their families, and students who had the images on their phones, no one will be charged with any crime.

"The case in this instance is not considered criminal in nature. It does amplify a lack of education of the potential consequences and penalties involved in the possession or transferring of these types of photographs", according to Detective Scott Williams, the department's public information officer.

"The Moline Police Department and the Moline School District are working together on educating teens and their parents about the dangers of sexting and its potential consequences."

Moline police and school administrators are warning parents and teens about the dangers of sexting and what can happen when you  press send.

That, after several students at Moline High School were interviewed by investigators this week, after a flood of graphic photos of fellow female students were shared online and on cellphones.

"People were sharing pictures of themselves. Those pictures got posted on social networking sites and widely distributed to a large, large number of people. There were many people involved in viewing and passing these images along," said Dr. David Moyer, Moline's Superintendent of Schools.

He says the images were shared with students at other area high schools as well. Police were called because the case was so widespread and involved many photos of under-aged girls, who consensually sent pictures to a friend, and discovered the images being passed around in cyberspace.

"We're taking this seriously. I'd hate to see any young person's life get ruined by something reckless like this. It appears students don't understand the magnitude of what they're doing", Dr. Moyer said.

"There was no connection to the school. There was no connection to anybody having transmitted images or downloaded images or using school equipment. So, our school administrators took it to the police and police took it from there", Dr. Moyer said.

Moline Police spokesperson Scott Williams says several students were interviewed and while the blast of photos is widespread, he doesn't believe the case will be considered criminal.

Instead, he says police and the school district plan on working together on educating teens and middle school students about the dangers of sexting and its consequences.