News Article about Leaked Photos at Zionsville High School
This happened in Zionsville, IN, only 30 minutes from Frankfort. If it can happen there, it can (and IS) happening here. Please be careful about the pictures you are sharing, even with a significant other, best friend, or someone you think you can trust. Private pictures don’t always stay private!!! Be smart! Think Before you Post (share)!!
Inappropriate images of Zionsville H.S. students surface online
Local police are trying to unravel an international mystery that has inappropriate images of nearly 30 girls online.
All of them are current or former Zionsville High School students.
Investigators say the website looks to be run out of Switzerland. But they believe the photos likely were posted anonymously, by someone local.
In a flash, pictures thought to be private have gone nationwide online. They’re inappropriate images, some nude, of nearly 30 current and former Zionsville High School students.
“We’d like to stop it,” said Zionsville Police Det. Josh Samuelson. “Of course our big concern is some of those girls are not 18 years old and that’s where the criminal aspect comes in to it, with child pornography. The person who posted these is looking at distribution of child pornography charges and I don’t think they realized that when they did it.”
Zionsville detectives began investigating after the high school principal learned someone shared photos of female students on an anonymous online image board. Police say they went up while students were on spring break.
“These pictures have been taken as far back as five, six years ago in some cases,” Samuelson said.
And they’re still out there.
Samuelson says the website is registered out of the country, in Switzerland, so police can’t take them down, since the site doesn’t abide by U.S. laws.
Detectives now are focused on finding the person who posted them and educating teens about the dangers of sharing private photos, even with a boyfriend.
“The majority of these photographs are photos a girl has sent to a boyfriend at the time, or another guy at the time, and did not expect for that boy to pass this on,” Samuelson said. “You can’t always trust the person that you’re sending this to. Time passes, relationships change and sometimes, unfortunately, people’s motivations change.”
Parent David Prier received the notification of what happened from the school.
“It’s frightening. It’s sickening,” Prier said.
His daughter is not a victim, but he says has had conversations with his children about the danger of sharing photos of themselves. He says because of this incident, he’ll have that conversation again.
Prier hopes other parents do, too.
“A lot of kids, they don’t understand the consequences of pushing one button, one time, because after that, you can’t get it back,” Prier said.
And in this case, the inappropriate images went nationwide, victimizing dozens of girls.
Zionsville Police say several names keep coming up in their investigation. They are confident they’ll catch the person who posted the pictures.
Samuelson says Chesterton High School also recently discovered inappropriate photos of its students posted on the same image board.
If you have information that could help the investigation, call Zionsville Police at (317) 873-5967.