Locker room photos lead to student charges

June 13, 2012 at 4:21 PM

LAKEVILLE, Minn., June 13 (UPI) -- What began as a Minnesota middle school game, with photos in hallways, escalated to photos in locker rooms and criminal charges, a district attorney said.

Four students at Century Middle School in Lakeville were charged with misdemeanors stemming from a prank alleged started by two of them, boys ages 13 and 14, who used cellphones to photograph the buttocks, fully-clothed, of girls in school hallways. The boys allegedly offered $5 and a can of soda to a 14-year-old girl to take photos and video in the girl's locker room, and a second 14-year-old girl also took a photo, Dakota County prosecutor James Backstrom said.

The boys and the first girl were charged Tuesday in Dakota County Juvenile Court with conspiracy to commit interference with privacy and criminal defamation, and the second girl was charged with interference with privacy, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Wednesday.

Authorities pointed out none of the images involved nudity, and that cyberbullying was not a factor.

Tony Massaros, the school district's director of administrative services, said Tuesday that 16 students have been suspended under the district's harassment policy, accused of possessing or distributing the images.

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