Four Lakeville middle school students charged in locker room photo incident
One girl was allegedly paid to pose
Four Century Middle School students in Lakeville were charged today with crimes connected to a May incident involving the taking and sharing of inappropriate photos of students, according to a statement from the Dakota County Attorney’s office.
Two 14-year-old girls, a 14-year-old-boy and a 13-year-old boy were each charged for allegedly photographing other students in a locker room. The charges stem from an incident, first reported by a school administrator on May 21, in which two girls allegedly took photos and video of two other girls undressing in the locker room.
The first girl is alleged to have taken four photos of one victim and a video of another. The second girl allegedly took one photo of the same victims. The video and photos showed the backs of the victims partially undressed from the waist down, though none of them featured nudity, according to the statement.
The first girl later shared the media content with one of the two boys charged. That boy allegedly then shared the data with two other boys. The second boy charged then allegedly forwarded the photos of one victim to four other boys. Ultimately, the statement said, the Dakota County Attorney’s office believes that as many as 40 students at Century saw the photos and video.
The two boys charged had apparently created a game in which they took photos of the buttocks of girls in the hallway and forwarded these photos to other students. Each boy allegedly paid one of the girls $5 and one of the boys gave her a can of soda as payment to take the photos in the locker room, according to the Attorney’s office. The second girl charged is believed to have taken one inappropriate photo as a result of the urging of the first girl charged in the case.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said the charges will be dealt with in juvenile court.
“No juvenile detention is expected as an outcome in any of these cases,” Backstrom said, “and it is anticipated that none of the juveniles charged in this case will be left with a permanent criminal record as a result of this prosecution.”
The four students charged in the case are believed to be most directly involved with the taking of photos and video or causing them to be taken, Backstrom said.
“We have been advised that many of the other students involved in possessing or transferring these inappropriate images have already been sanctioned by the school,” he said.
The two boys are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit interference with privacy and one count of criminal defamation, both gross misdemeanors. One 14-year-old girl is charged with interference with privacy (a gross misdemeanor) and criminal defamation. The other 14-year-old girl is charged with interference with privacy.