Four teenagers at Century Middle School in Lakeville are facing gross misdemeanor charges for allegedly taking and forwarding pictures of two girls undressing in a locker room.
Dakota County attorney James Backstrom says two boys, ages 13 and 14, allegedly recruited two 14-year-old girls to take surreptitious photos and video of two other girls undressing. The images shows the victims partially undressed but not nude, Backstrom said. As many as 40 other students may have seen the photos and video.
The students' names are not made public because they are juveniles. All four students face privacy interference charges. The boys are also accused of criminal defamation.
Backstrom said all young people who use social media should pay attention to this case.
"There's lines of decency that can quickly be crossed," Backstrom said. "And in this case, those lines were crossed. Everyone needs to learn from that."
Backstrom says the teens are not likely to have permanent criminal records or face juvenile detention, but they may have to write apology letters and perform community service.
"I think these were young kids not realizing the extent of the harm they were causing at the time," Backstrom said. "It started out as a game, but it quickly crossed the line into some significant invasions of privacy."
Backstrom says school officials notified authorities of the alleged incidents three weeks ago.