Waukesha Teens Could Face Pornography Charges After Sexting Pictures of Classmates
At least five Waukesha teens could be facing child pornography charges after police say they were trading naked pictures of other students "like baseball cards."
Police tell us teenage girls as young as ten years old were sending compromising pictures of themselves to classmates not knowing they were being shared with other teens across the city.
"These girls commonly use Snapchat. The Snapchat photo would disappear after 5-6 seconds. What they didn't know is the recipient would either screenshot or use a third party app to capture the photo or use a separate camera to take a picture of the photo and then they would keep the image," said Sgt. Jerry Habanek with the Waukesha Police Department.
The ultimate betrayal: Police tell us these girls thought they were sharing the pictures with a friend or boyfriend but instead at least five boys from Waukesha North, West and South were saving them to a phone app called "Kik" and sharing them.
"People would learn about this repository of photos and they'd say 'Hey I have a picture of Betty, would you trade me for a picture of Suzy?' " said Habanek.
They would then save them to their phones using apps like KY-Calc, which to the blind eye, looks like a calculator. Police say at least 25-30 girls,10 to 17 years old are victims.
"I don't think its a matter of not caring, its a matter of not knowing. If you look at young people this age, they invest incredible amounts of trust in other people," said UW Madison Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the Center for Journalism Ethics Katy Culver.
"I have a 13-year-old daughter and she really trusts her friends and the people around her. I really don't think it would occur to her that someone would betray her trust," said Culver.
Both police and Culver say these images could potentially live on in the digital world forever so its best to teach your kids to be safe before they ever hit send.
"There's absolutely no expectation of privacy when you're dealing with these apps. And I don't think kids understand that at all.
And I think it's our obligation as parents to try and help them understand that," said Culver.
Waukesha Police say these apps are the ones you should be looking out for on your kid's phones: