Police confirm multiple reports of sexually explicit images showing MCSD students

(Source: WTVM File)
(Source: WTVM File)
(Source: WTVM File)
(Source: WTVM File)
(Source: WTVM)
(Source: WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  A major Muscogee County investigation is widening and includes new reports.

Columbus police confirm two reports have led to an investigation into sexually explicit pictures of students in Muscogee County being sent and posted on social media.

Lt. Joyce Dent-Fitzpatrick, who leads the department's Sex Crimes Unit, tells News Leader 9 one report came in from a principal at a Muscogee County school, alleging a child saw a sibling online, naked.

The second report came from a concerned parent who said their child is possibly depicted child as nude on social media.

"Children cannot send other children sexually explicit materials or pictures of themselves or others," Dent-Fitzpatrick said. "It violates both of the children's rights."

News Leader 9 spoke exclusively to the concerned parent who called the police and filed the second report.

She did not want to show her face or reveal her name, but she said she had enough of people accusing her child, who goes to a Muscogee County high school, of committing a sexual act on social media.

"She brought it to me and I looked at the video, and I and realized it wasn't my daughter," the parent said.

She said she then took matters into her own hands and started to investigate the social media account that posted the image.

"I created a fake Instagram account, and they accepted my request,  so then I was able to look and basically be nosy to see what was going on," the parent said.?

What she saw on the account, she said, was beyond anything she expected.

"You have guys having sex with guys, girls having sex with guys, girls having sex with girls. All of this is vivid," the parent said.?

In its investigation, the Sex Crimes Unit found the Instagram account and confirmed whoever is running the page monitored more that just one Instagram account.

"There were actually four different sites," she said. "They had numbers attached to them. And I think when they found out adults and the police department was involved, they started shutting these sites down."

Dent-Fitzpatrick added, by the time they looked at the pages, they could not find any sexually explicit photos.

She said depending on how their investigation goes, whoever is responsible may face serious consequences.

"If we find sexually explicit pictures– of someone who has posted it, the person who posts this, being a child– can be charged, and a person who transmits it can be charged."

Those charges could include: distribution of child pornography or possession of child pornography, and if those charged are kids, they will report to the juvenile court.

The Sex Crimes Unit will continue its investigation, even possibly sending Instagram a court order or search warrant to find whoever ran that account.

News Leader 9 has reached out to Instagram and Facebook for a statement on this investigation as well as their policies on sexually explicit material.

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