A pair of Janesville teens invited people to submit photos of unclothed people and then shared those photos on social media, police believe.
Police identified two of those whose images were shared, apparently without their permission, in January. Several other photo subjects were not identified in a months-long investigation, according to police reports The Gazette obtained.
A 14-year-old Janesville girl was referred to juvenile authorities last Tuesday on a charge of party to sexual exploitation of a child. A 16-year-old girl was suspected of working with the 14-year-old, but police could not locate her and heard she might have moved out of state.
Photos of one victim, along with videos of her engaged in sex acts, were posted on the “Janesville Tea” Snapchat account, according to a witness police interviewed.
Males exposing their genitals also were posted, according to reports.
A 15-year-old girl told police she believed photos of her in her underwear and a video of her twerking probably originated with an ex-boyfriend to whom she had sent them. The girl said she suspected a subsequent girlfriend of the boy was responsible for exposing the images.
Police began receiving tips about the problem Jan. 12, the same date the Snapchat account was created, according to information police later obtained from Snapchat.
The Snapchat information showed the account was created in the Janesville area.
In addition to nude photos, videos were posted of fights between girls, at least some recorded on the grounds and in a restroom at Janesville’s Franklin Middle School, according to reports.
Students who attend Edison Middle School also were involved, reports indicate.
Officers using an undercover Snapchat account were allowed to access “Janesville Tea” and recorded some of the Snapchat posts and requested that Snapchat preserve information posted, according to reports.
Among the photos of teen boys and girls was one that appeared to have been taken in a restroom at Janesville Parker High School, according to reports.
One 14-year-old girl told police she took a nude photo of herself and sent it to a trusted friend in November. She sent a similar photo to a boy who told her he liked her and asked for a photo of her chest, she told police.
The boy blocked her online and wouldn’t speak to her after she sent the photo, she told police.