An unidentified 16-year-old male student at Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga has been arrested and booked on a felony charge of distributing obscene material depicting a minor engaging in, or simulating, sexual conduct.
The arrest follows a two-week investigation by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department into how nude photos of two female teenagers ended up on the suspect's Twitter account. According to Sheriff's Deputies, the nude photos were texted to the suspect by the girls themselves.
One of the girls – a 14-year-old girl -- received a misdemeanor citation for distributing obscene material. Sexting – texting sexual photos and messages -- is nothing new, but many of the students FOX 11 News spoke to say they had no idea sending and receiving naked photos, even of themselves, is illegal. Under the law, it is classified as child pornography if the photos are of someone under the age of 18. Some of the parents we spoke with were surprised, too.
Parent Stephanie Sheraton said, "I think that's a little extreme. I mean, they're all kids that are involved. Kids make mistakes and it stays with them forever." Other students question why only the 16-year-old boy was arrested when the girls allegedly sent him the naked photos. Still, San Bernardino County Sheriff's investigators say they don't anticipate any more arrests. They say there are two suspects and 4 victims.
Matthew Holton, The Superintendent for the Chaffey School District said he hopes this sends a clear message to other students that sexting is dangerous. "Be careful what you send via cell phone and computer, because it's long term and it doesn't go away," said Holton.