Several girls may have been exploited while attending school at St. Paul Academy and Summit School
In a statement SPA released to Fox 9 on Tuesday, reps confirmed an unspecified number of Upper School girls reported someone they did not know contacted them on social media to tell them their photos had been posted on an internet forum. Sources say it's a porn website. The person who contacted them was a user of the site and not affiliated with the school.
The school's investigation revealed the photos were taken in classrooms and hallways and appear to have been taken by an SPA student. Sources say the student posted the photos on the porn site for sale., some of the photos getting at least 6,000 hits. The student has since been expelled.
Defense attorney Christa Groshek says in order for these cases to be classified as child pornography, a person has to be engaged in a sexual performance, lewd exhibition of genitals or some sort of sexual activity. Regardless, counseling staff is on-hand at the school to ensure the girls have the support they need.
if you're a parent and you believe your child has been a victim of child pornography you can contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who can shut down the operation and provide information so the purveyors of these sites can be prosecuted.
In recent weeks, a few of our female Upper School students reported to teachers and other SPA staff that they had been contacted through social media by an individual unknown to them, who referenced photos of the girls posted on an internet forum. Our investigation into this matter revealed that photos of the girls in SPA classrooms and hallways appear to have been taken by a SPA student, and then posted by the student on an internet forum. The individual who then contacted the girls through social media is a user of this online forum who is unconnected to the SPA community.
We take this matter very seriously, and our foremost concern at present is for the girls. The girls whose pictures were posted and their families have been notified of the situation, and our counseling staff is on hand to ensure that the girls have the support they need. The student who posted the photos is no longer a student at SPA. In addition, SPA has contacted the online forum to have these photos removed from the site, and we have reason to believe that this has indeed taken place. Finally, SPA is continuing to investigate this matter, but because its investigation is ongoing, SPA cannot comment further at this time.