Middle school students charged in child porn scandal

Riverside Middle School (Photo Credit: Google Street View)
Riverside Middle School (Photo credit: Google Street View)

Police in Greenville County, South Carolina, have charged four middle school girls and one boy with disturbing school and possession of child porn after a sexual assault was recorded and distributed at the school. The assault occurred last weekend at a home and shows an eighth grade female student at the school engaging in sex acts. The 14-year-old boy was charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct for his role. The allegations come from a FaceTime chat between several students that was recorded by another student and spread through text and video messages at Riverside Middle School. A student at the school who received the message went to a school counselor and showed the message.

Police say several students were interviewed and at least 10 cellphones were seized by police as part of the investigation. During the investigation, it was determined that students at Mauldin Middle and Ralph Chandler Middle schools were also involved in spreading the video. Greenville County Schools spokeswoman Beth Brotherton confirmed the role of the students in the video and stated that the four female students have been suspended with a recommendation of expulsion for their actions. She also released the following statement:


“The parents of any students who we are aware were directly exposed to the images or video have been contacted, and those students have received counseling and support from our school counselors and staff. Support services will continue to be available to any students who indicate they have a need. This is a difficult and complex issue for our school community to process.  We encourage parents to discuss with their children the importance of internet safety.”

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Greenville County School District are investigating the assault and monitoring the situation. Police have indicated that more students may be charged as the investigation continues. This situation brings to light that parents should be more active in monitoring the social media behavior of their children as well as the growing issue of cyber bullying.

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