Four students at Lakeville Middle School were charged today with gross misdemeanor privacy and defamation crimes for taking and distributing inappropriate photos of fellow students last month.
Two boys, ages 13 and 14, were each charged with Conspiracy to Commit Interference with Privacy and Criminal Defamation. Two 14-year-old girls were charged with Interference with Privacy, and one of the girls was also charged with Criminal Defamation.
The teens are students at Century Middle School in Lakeville.
According to Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom, the charges stem from an incident that occurred in May in which two girls allegedly took photos and a video of two other girls undressing in the school’s locker room. The images showed the backs of the victims partially undressed, although none of the images showed the victims naked.
The photos and video were later forwarded to the two boys charged, and they allegedly forwarded the images to other students. Backstrom said he believes the boys paid the girls to take the photos and video. The images may have been seen by more than 40 students from the school.
Backstrom said the youth charged in this case are those believed to have been directly involved in either taking or causing the inappropriate photos/images to be taken. He said the charges will be dealt with in juvenile court and no further charges will be filed in the case. Many of the other students involved in possessing or transferring the inappropriate images have already been sanctioned by the school.