Four female middle school students were charged with possession of child pornography after they were caught distributing a video of an alleged sexual assault of a minor.
Police in Greer, South Carolina, reported that an intoxicated girl was sexually assaulted at a private residence May 14, and that the incident was recorded using FaceTime. On May 16, the video began circulating around Riverside Middle School. One student who saw the video notified a school counselor, according to WLOS.
The 14-year-old male student depicted in the video, who attends a nearby school, was then arrested and charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.
Police said they took statements from 60 students and confiscated 10 cellphones as evidence, WSPA reports.
Greenville County School District released the following statement regarding the incident:
Four students from Riverside Middle School have been charged by Greer Police with Possession of Child Pornography. The four students have been suspended and will be recommended for expulsion.
According to the Greer Police report, an alleged sexual assault occurred on Saturday, May 14th at a private residence in Greenville County. A FaceTime call was made from the residence by several students. The student who received the call recorded it and later sent the video to others.
On Monday May 16th, some students at Riverside Middle began showing the video to other students. One student saw the video and reported it to a school official.
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.
Drew Pinciaro of the Greenville County Sheriff's Office also publicly addressed the incident, issuing the following statement:
Many of you have inquired about the Greenville County School District and Greer Police Department's releases regarding middle school students being charged with disseminating child pornography. The Greenville County Sheriff's Office is currently working a sexual assault case that is in relation to the case the Greer Police Department is working.
So far in our investigation, we have charged a 14 year old with Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor 2nd Degree. This is still an active investigation and no further details will be released until it is complete.